Dublin City councillors still negotiating Lord Mayor position

Five largest political groupings seeking agreement to rotate top post over next five years

Outgoing Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn will hand over the chains of office to his successor tomorrow when Dublin City councillors vote to fill the position for the next year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Outgoing Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn will hand over the chains of office to his successor tomorrow when Dublin City councillors vote to fill the position for the next year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 01:00

Dublin City councillors are attempting to negotiate a plan whereby the position of lord mayor would rotate between the five largest political groupings over the next five years.

Representatives from the various groups of councillors on the local authority have met this week to negotiate the mayoralty as well as policy issues such as housing, homelessness and the city budget.

They had hoped to settle the question of the incoming mayor at a meeting in City Hall last night but one source said the “nuts and bolts” still needed to be put in place.

Outgoing Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn will hand over the chains of office to his successor tomorrow when Dublin City councillors vote to fill the position for 2014/2015 at a meeting that will also determine the make-up of the council’s various committees.

Sinn Féin

The recent local elections changed the complexion of the now 63-seat Dublin City Council considerably, returning Sinn Féin as its largest party with 16 seats. Prior to that, Fine Gael and Labour held the majority of seats, a combined 27 out of 52, which enabled them to swap the mayoralty each year.

Fine Gael and Labour sources yesterday said that if Sinn Féin expects to get the mayoralty, it must prove its willingness to bring in a budget.

A number of councillors yesterday said a situation whereby the five main groups (Sinn Féin, Independents and others, Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael) shared the office over the course of five years was a likelihood. In that case, the focus will turn to who has it for the 1916 centenary .

Anti Austerity Alliance

Separately, the Anti Austerity Alliance has appealed to Sinn Féin to lead negotiations to create an “anti-austerity majority” on South Dublin County Council.

Cllr Mick Murphy said in a statement yesterday: “Sinn Féin, with nine councillors, is now the biggest grouping on the council and has a clear anti-austerity mandate. Given that position, they have a unique responsibility and opportunity to lead negotiations to establish an anti-austerity majority on this council. If they do so and commit to not passing an austerity budget, we will support their candidate for mayor.”

Sinn Féin leader on the council Cathal King said the party is “in the process of trying to establish a progressive group” in South Dublin.