Fingal backs plebiscite on directly elected Dublin mayor

Position would likely come into effect from 2019 if ratified by councils and public

Fingal County Council has passed a motion calling for a plebiscite for a directly elected mayor of Dublin.

Fingal County Council has passed a motion calling for a plebiscite for a directly elected mayor of Dublin.

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 20:18

Fingal County Council this evening passed a motion calling for a plebiscite for a directly elected mayor of Dublin four months after it scuppered original plans for a public vote.

The motion put forward by Independent councillor Cian O’Callaghan was passed amid general consensus from the council members present, although an amending motion from Fianna Fáil providing an opt-out route for any of the four local authorities dissatisfied with plans was also passed.

There were calls for a more comprehensive disclosure of the powers available to such a mayor, the lack of which proved a major issue for dissenting voters when the original motion was soundly defeated in March.

Speaking on discussions held with then-minister for local government Phil Hogan, Fingal Mayor Mags Murray said there were no new proposals from the Department on the role of a directly elected mayor, a position that would likely come into effect from 2019 if ratified by councils and the public.

Separately, the council will be making a submission to the Courts Service requesting the retention of all three courthouses due to be closed in the Dublin area, most particularly the District Courts in Swords and Balbriggan.

The move came off the back of a petition brought forward by Fianna Fáil councillor Darragh Butler calling for the Courts Service to reverse its decision to close the Swords and Balbriggan courthouses next year.

The prospective closures form an integral part of plans to streamline services, and will see cases from the affected areas heard in the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin city rather than at local sittings.