Monday is D-day for Dublin’s directly elected mayor
This Monday Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown will each hold their votes
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan: if the plebiscite goes ahead, and if Dubliners vote Yes, he will have two years to bring to the Dáil proposals for legislation to set up the new office
Spring has sprung, clocks are going forward and lamp posts will soon be blooming with a fresh crop of election posters.
In addition to local and European hopefuls, Dubliners might well be expecting to see a third set of candidates – those seeking to lead the city as its first directly elected mayor.
They’d be well advised not to hold their breath.This coming Monday is seen as D-day for the prospect of having mayoral elections. It is in as much that just one Dublin local authority could decide to veto the proposal, and if they do there will be no mayor. But really it’s just another hurdle.
Last Monday, Dublin City Council voted in favour of holding a plebiscite (a poll of Dublin residents) on the mayor issue. This Monday Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown will each hold their votes. Half the councillors in each local authority, not just half the number of councillors who turn up , must vote in favour for the plebiscite to go ahead. If this hurdle is passed there will on May 23rd be a plebiscite on whether Dublin should have an elected mayor.
The vote on May 23rd is to decide whether Dublin should have a mayor. If the plebiscite goes ahead, and if Dubliners vote Yes, the Minister for the Environment then has two years to bring to the Dáil proposals for legislation to set up the new office, or make a statement of his reasons for not legislating to have a mayor.
If the Minister decides to introduce such legislation, and if the legislation passes successfully through both Houses of the Oireachtas, then at the time of the 2019 local elections Dubliners could see gazing down on them the face of capital’s first directly elected mayor.OLIVIA KELLY