FG councillor is Dublin's Lord Mayor


FINE GAEL leader on Dublin City Council Gerry Breen was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin last night, succeeding outgoing mayor, Labour councillor Emer Costello.

Cllr Breen, a businessman, and 11 years a member of the council, was elected as part of a pact last year between the two parties to alternate the mayoralty over the five years of the current council.

He received 31 votes, with eight votes for former Sinn Féin, now Independent Cllr Christy Burke and five votes for South West Inner City Sinn Féin Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh.

Five councillors abstained and three were absent.

Fine Gael, with 12 councillors, and Labour with 20 have a majority on the 52-seat council. Fianna Fáil councillors abstained.

Cllr Flynn, who nominated North Inner City Cllr Christy Burke said the “deal had already been done” between the two parties and he described the election as “bogus” but he nominated Mr Burke to bring “openness and transparency” to the process.

Mr Burke said he looked forward to direct elections to remove the “monopoly” from the major parties to dictate who was mayor.

Cllr Costello carried out her last official function yesterday morning by turning the sod on the site for a motocross scrambling track at Alfie Byrne Road.

Speaking of her year’s experience as Lord Mayor she said “it would be nice to be city manager, to make the executive decisions”.

She said the mayor does not have decision-making powers but “you have influence that transcends the limitations of the office”, and she would “like to be at the heart of decision-making for another year”.

Asked if that meant she would support proposed Green Party legislation to elect a mayor, she said that when she became mayor, the Greens had insisted that she would be the last mayor before direct elections for mayor took place. But she said there was still no sign of that legislation.


FINE GAEL councillor Maria Byrne was last night elected Limerick’s fourth female mayor. The 814th mayor of Limerick follows in the footsteps of her father Bobby Byrne who served two terms as the city’s first citizen. It is the first time a father and daughter have both served as Mayor of Limerick.

Ms Byrne, who has been deputy mayor on two occasions, was elected last night under a mayoral pact agreed by the local Fine Gael party, the largest party on Limerick City Council. Limerick’s last female mayor was Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan who served a term in 1993-1994. Cllr Terry Kelly served in 1983-1984.

Limerick’s first female mayor was Cllr Frances Condell, who was elected to the post in 1963.


WATERORD city’s second ever female mayor was elected last night as a result of a pact between Fine Gael, Labour and Independent members of Waterford City Council.   Replacing outgoing mayor of the city, Cllr John Halligan, Cllr Mary Roche, an Independent member of Waterford City Council, she is the second female mayor, following the election of former Fine Gael Cllr Mary O’Halloran in 2007. Ms Roche is the only female Waterford city councillor at present.

Meanwhile, Cllr Paddy O’Callaghan was elected as mayor of Co Waterford. Labour Party member, Mr O’Callaghan was also elected by way of a pact – between Labour and Fine Gael at Waterford County Council.


Clare County Council yesterday elected only the third Independent mayor in the history of the council when west Clare-based Cllr Christy Curtin was elected unopposed.

The veteran councillor of 31 years was elected by the three main groups, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Independents through a powersharing agreement struck between the three main groups for the five-year term of the council.

In his acceptance speech yesterday at the council’s chamber, Mr Curtin said that the council was facing a number of major challenges with decreasing income and increasing costs through regulation.


Fine Gael councillor Joe Leonard was elected unopposed as chairman of Sligo County Council.

The north Sligo councillor was a key witness in the long-running High Court action over the issue of whether public rights of way exist on the Lissadell estate.