Dublin Is One Step Closer To A...


Dublin Is One Step Closer To A Directly Elected Mayor

Fiona Cooney
Fiona Cooney

06:22 22 May 2022

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The Dublin Citizens’ Assembly has finished its second meeting this afternoon, following two days of discussions concerning the prospect of a directly elected mayor for Dublin.

The Assembly-comprised of 67 randomly selected citizens of Dublin, and 12 elected councillors gathered at The Grand Hotel Malahide under the Chairmanship of former Football Manager Jim Gavin.

Saturday’s meeting included a panel discussion with the mayors of the four Dublin local authorities, Alison Gilliland, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Lettie McCarthy, Cathaoirleach, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Seána Ó Rodaigh, Mayor of Fingal, and Peter Kavanagh, Mayor of South Dublin.

The mayors unanimously expressed their support both for the introduction of a directly elected mayor for Dublin and for the Assembly’s work in making recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas on how that office should function.

The meeting also included virtual presentations and a panel discussion with representatives from other international cities where a directly elected mayor is in place.

A recurring concern expressed by the Assembly involves the level of governance a directly elected Mayor would hold.

Former Limerick Mayor Dr. Diarmuid Scully addressed this issue during his speech:

"Local authorities in Ireland have less power than local authorities in Putin's Russia. Our system is not actually normal. Things that are normally done elsewhere, are not done here. The idea that Dublin City Council or the four Dublin authorities together don't run the bus service in Dublin is quite amazing, and would not happen in any other capital city in Europe".

The Assembly will continue to hold a series of meetings over the coming months and is due to conclude its work later this year before sending its recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas.

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