Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan says he is not to blame for the failure of plans to have a public vote on whether to have a directly elected mayor for Dublin. He said he was "the greatest proponent of devolution probably in the history of the State" and was "disappointed" councillors voted not to allow the plebiscite to go ahead.
Mr Hogan has been widely accused of stymieing the public vote by insisting a majority of councillors in each of the four Dublin local authorities had to agree to the plebiscite being held.
Dubliners were to vote on May 23rd on whether to have an elected mayor for the capital, but councillors in Fingal this week vetoed the holding of the plebiscite. The overwhelming majority of councillors in Dublin City, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown were in favour of the plebiscite.
Mr Hogan rejected suggestions that he had set up the proposition for failure. “I did not interfere in any way with the proposition put forward by the lord mayor of Dublin to the four local authorities and I’m disappointed that it was rejected, but I’ m not going to take political responsibility for the notion that the Fingal council rejected the proposition.”
The Lord Mayor, Labour’s Oisín Quinn, led a forum of members of the four Dublin local authorities which was tasked by Mr Hogan with coming up with proposals for the new office. This forum had “not done its homework” in relation to the views of Fingal, Mr Hogan said. “I’m disappointed that was the outcome but nevertheless we have to respect the fact the members of Fingal could not support what was put on the table by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, not by me.”