New mayors are elected


City, town and county councils around the State have elected new mayors for a one year term this evening.

A former Irish and Munster rugby player has become the 816th mayor of Limerick.

Labour Councillor Gerry ‘Ginger’ McLoughlin was elected to the position tonight following Fine Gael’s decision not to support its own candidate as was previously expected as part of five year pact.

A qualified secondary school teacher, Cllr McLoughlin was capped for Ireland 18 times.

In Dublin Fine Gael Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí was elected by 32 votes to six against the only other nominee Independent Cllr Mannix Flynn, with 11 abstentions.

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin abstained and Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Fitzgerald said the role was ceremonial but cost almost €1 million a year.

She called for a directly elected mayor and said there was need for a “real leader with executive power”.

Cllr Ó Muirí said he wanted to be a “happy warrior” for a city that would be a home for everybody “irrespective of colour or creed”.

His priorities for the year include turning the capital into a major digital hub, promoting Dublin as a major tourism destination and turning derelict sites into eco parks, in co-operation with Nama.

The deputy mayor of Dublin is Cllr Clare Byrne, whose mother Catherine Byrne, a Fine Gael TD, previously served as mayor.

A mother and daughter link is also shared in Galway where Cllr Mary O’Flaherty was elected mayor for the second time, an achievement she shares with her mother Bridie O’Flaherty.

The new mayor previously served as mayor in 2003 to 2004 when she was a member of the Progressive Democrats and her mother was mayor twice in the 1980s, on the second occasion defecting from Fianna Fáil to the Progressive Democrats.

In Cork last weekend Cllr John Buttimer, a member of the city council since 2007, was elected Lord Mayor. He is a brother of Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer.

Fine Gael councillor Barbara Murray from Youghal was elected mayor of county Cork.

In Tralee the mayor is Fianna Fail’s Johnny Wall, while in Listowel Sinn Féin ’s Tom Barry took the top job. The new mayor of Kerry will be Labour’s Terry O’Brien.