Opposition to SF demands for 2016 Lord Mayor of Dublin

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil raise last-minute objections to mooted arrangement

It is expected that the grouping of some Independents, comprising 12 councillors, will nominate Cllr Christy Burke for the position of Lord Mayor 2014-2015 at a meeting in City Hall today.

It is expected that the grouping of some Independents, comprising 12 councillors, will nominate Cllr Christy Burke for the position of Lord Mayor 2014-2015 at a meeting in City Hall today.

Fri, Jun 6, 2014, 01:07

Sinn Féin demands to hold the position of Lord Mayor of Dublin for the 1916 centenary commemorations are meeting last minute opposition from other parties on the city council.

A mooted arrangement could see the position of Lord Mayor rotate between the five largest political groupings on the council over the next five years.

It is expected that the grouping of some Independents, comprising 12 councillors, will nominate Cllr Christy Burke for the position of Lord Mayor 2014-2015 at a meeting in City Hall today.

Next year, councillors would elect a Sinn Féin Lord Mayor for 2015-2016, to be followed in subsequent years by councillors from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour.

However, the Fianna Fáil group is split on the proposal, with Jim O’Callaghan saying “2016 is too sensitive a year” to allow Sinn Féin “hijack the Mansion House and the position of Lord Mayor”.

Mr O’Callaghan said he was not opposed to Sinn Féin taking the position, but added an Independent councillor should be Lord Mayor for 2016 to avoid party political point-scoring.

Budgeting

Fine Gael sources last night said they may not support this because of a lack of commitments on passing budgets for the council. The Fine Gael group is proposing a one-year arrangement, which will have a provisional agreement to have a budget, with an Independent mayor in the first year. One party source claimed Sinn Féin would not adhere to budgeting once it was assured the mayoralty in 2016.

Largest party

The recent local elections returned Sinn Féin as the largest party in the now-63 seat Dublin City Council, with 16 councillors. Mr Burke is a long-serving Dublin City councillor and a former member of Sinn Féin who resigned from the party shortly after the 2009 local elections.

South Dublin County Council will have a Sinn Féin mayor for 2016, under an agreement reached with the Labour Party, Independents and the Green Party.