Fine Gael takes three out of four mayoral roles in Dublin after voting pacts

Rise in local property tax under Dublin City Council multi-party deal will not kick in before the general election

Dublin's new lord mayor James Geoghegan and his wife Claire Cummins on election results day. Photograph: Sam Boal/Collins Photos

Fine Gael councillor James Geoghegan has been elected 356th Lord Mayor of Dublin in a new ruling agreement that almost mirrors the Government coalition.

Cllr Geoghegan was elected through an alliance of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the Green Party on Dublin City Council, with the addition of Labour, and the support of Independent Nial Ring.

Earlier, South Dublin County Council elected Fine Gael councillor Baby Pereppadan as mayor. In Dún Laoghaire Rathdown another Fine Gael councillor Jim O’Leary was appointed Cathaoirleach, while in Fingal, Labour Cllr Brian McDonagh was elected county mayor.

Cllr Geoghegan’s election followed more than a week of protracted negotiations, where it initially seemed the Social Democrats and Sinn Féin would lead the council into a left-leaning ruling group it was terming a “progressive alliance”.


However, Labour left this alliance last weekend, due to Sinn Féin’s opposition to increasing local property tax (LPT), the Green Party also pulled out in recent days.

To secure the support of Labour and the Greens, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have agreed to change their stance on the tax from 2026.

LPT, which is based on the value of a property, has a base rate that can be raised or lowered by 15 per cent by councillors each year. Since the introduction of the tax in 2013, Dublin city councillors have always voted for the maximum discount.

Last year Labour, the Greens and the Social Democrats put forward a motion to charge the full rate. This motion, which was defeated, would have resulted in higher bills for homeowners this year but, the parties said, would have resulted in much improved services for Dubliners.

As part of the new pact, the increased charge will not kick in before the general election with councillors of the four parties having a “free vote” on the 2025 LPT charge. The base rate will then be applied “for years 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this council term” according to the agreement published ahead of Friday evening’s council meeting.

It is understood that under the voting agreement, Fine Gael and the Green Party will hold the mayoralty for two years each, with Fianna Fáil having one mayor in the five year term.

The agreement includes commitments to increasing the budget for cleaning and waste services and to ringfence the additional LPT, which could amount to €14.5 million a year, for “housing maintenance, street cleanliness and a new fund for playgrounds”.

The agreement also has an ambition for the council to “expand direct build of public and affordable housing projects on council-owned sites”. It also states that the “Active Travel Network and agreed transport plans will be safeguarded and implemented” which would include the council’s Dublin City Centre Transport Plan and cycle network.

The Social Democrats and Sinn Féin proposed Social Democrats councillor Daniel Ennis for lord mayor and while he secured 25 votes, Cllr Geoghegan received 32.

Speaking after this election Cllr Geoghegan said he looked forward to working with Cllr Ennis.

Cllr Geoghegan said the council needed to “invest in our city and what it can become – a city where we all belong”.

However, he said Dublin was seen now as a “wounded city” and he in particular referenced the riots last November which he said had “damaged our city and damaged our city’s reputation”.

He said he would treat every member of the council chamber equally, but he said he would “not shy away from calling out prejudice of any form” whether based on race, ethnicity, sexual identity or gender.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times