Limerick to hold country’s first mayoral election in 2021

Limerick has chance to set example to rest of Ireland for what a mayor can do, says Senator

Limerick was the only one of three cities to vote in favour of a directly elected mayor in a recent local referendum held in May. Both Cork and Waterford rejected the proposal.

Limerick was the only one of three cities to vote in favour of a directly elected mayor in a recent local referendum held in May. Both Cork and Waterford rejected the proposal.

 

Limerick will hold the country’s first election for a mayor in May 2021, it has been announced.

Limerick was the only one of three cities to vote in favour of a directly elected mayor in a recent local referendum held in May. Both Cork and Waterford rejected the proposal.

The proposal was passed in Limerick City and County Council by a margin of 52.4 per cent (38,122 votes in favour) to 47.6 per cent (34,573 votes against).

The announcement of a May 2021 poll was made by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy at a public meeting in Limerick on Monday night, organised by Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne.

Ms Byrne said Limerick now had an opportunity to set an example to the rest of the country for what a mayor can do.

“This will guide the social and economic renaissance of the whole mid-west region. That is the potential of the office,” she said.

Mr Murphy announced the May 2021 date and said the powers of a directly elected mayor will be “akin to a Minister of State for Limerick”.

“It will elevate the city and county to a status that other parts of Ireland will not have. It is an incredibly important role. You will be the first movers,” he said.

He said the mayor’s programme will have to be approved by the directly elected members.

The mayor will be responsible for implementing the vision of the local authority and they “will lead on a joined-up vision for Limerick but also have the space and time to implement it over five years”, the Minister said.

Mr Murphy also announced his intention to invite local councillors and staff of the local authority to an implementation advisory group to advise on what functions should transfer from the executive to the new mayor’s office.

The Minister said: “I want the local authority to be central to this process, to be involved, or else it undermines the whole idea of devolving more powers to local level.”

Separately, Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform John Paul Phelan will lead a review of the current balance of powers between government departments and local authorities with a view to devolving more powers to Limerick councillors in conjunction with the establishment of this new office.