Citizens’ assembly set to examine possibility of directly elected mayor for Dublin

Second assembly set to look at biodiversity, under plans going to Government

The possible introduction of a direct election for the position of Dublin’s mayor is to be examined by a citizens’ assembly later this spring, under plans going to Government this week.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is to brief Cabinet colleagues on plans for two citizens’ assemblies, set to start in April.

The main item that will be referred to the Dublin citizens’ assembly is to consider whether a directly elected mayor for the city should be considered, as well as issues relating to the local government structure.

A second citizens' assembly would examine the issue of biodiversity, which the Taoiseach indicated he was open to in the Dáil last week in response to questions from Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South-West Christopher O'Sullivan.

The assemblies will be asked to report back within nine months, it is understood.

The programme for Government commits to establishing a citizens’ assembly to consider the type of directly elected mayor and local government structures best suited for Dublin, as well as to allow for plebiscites to be held in 2024 in any local authority that wishes to have a directly elected mayor.

Previous plans for a directly elected mayor for the capital fell apart when Fingal County Council rejected the plans, which needed the support of all four local authorities in the capital to proceed.

Limerick will get a directly elected mayor with executive powers and a salary of €130,000, after voters in the city approved the proposal in a plebiscite in 2019. The contest is expected to take place later this year.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times