Hogan to hold new talks on Dublin mayor

Minister says Coalition committed to plebisite on directly elected mayor

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan: will engage with four new Dublin councils.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan: will engage with four new Dublin councils.

Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 01:00

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is to invite the newly elected mayors of the four Dublin local authorities to a meeting aimed at resurrecting the idea of a directly elected mayor for the capital.

The initial plan was vetoed earlier this year after Fingal County Council voted against it. The three other Dublin councils – Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, and South Dublin – supported the proposal.

Dublin South-East TD Kevin Humphreys tabled a question on the issue in the Dáil and Mr Hogan told him in reply that the idea could be revisited “following a period of reflection”.

While Mr Hogan said his main focus is on bedding down the new local authority structures, with changes in the size of councils and the abolition of town councils, he said the Coalition “remains committed to the notion of a plebiscite for a directly elected mayor for Dublin, and it appears that it is back to me to come up with a fresh initiative”, he said.

Differing views

“This must take account of the differing views, significant in many respects, between the different local authorities in relation to the role that such an office should have.”

He said he would now have to engage with the four new Dublin councils and Government departments “to maximise the prospects for agreement on a meaningful proposal to put to the electorate and to maximise the prospects for success in the ballot box”.

“It is my intention to write to the newly appointed mayors and cathaoirligh of those local authorities and invite them to a meeting in the Custom House in early July where we can discuss how, together, we will take the directly elected mayor issue forward.”

Any assessment of a directly elected mayor would have to include how it would affect the functions of the existing councils, he said.