Practical bill would give all Dubliners chance to directly elect a Mayor in 2019
The Green Party today launched a private members’ bill that would see the direct election of a Mayor of Dublin. The bill is an updated version of the Greens’ 2011 bill.
Speaking at the launch of the bill, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, TD for Dublin Bay South, said: “Minister Simon Coveney says he is supportive of the idea for directly elected Mayors and will review proposals as to how they can be introduced. This bill presents a practical and thought out way in which we can make it happen. The legislation updates a similar bill which was almost through the legislative process in January 2011. It allows for the election of a directly elected Mayor for Dublin who would head a new regional authority for the city. The new mayor would have a vital role in planning and managing how the city is going to work and grow.”
Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin-Rathdown, Catherine Martin said: “Sticking with the current annual circus, where horse trading decides who gets to carry the Mayoral chain for a year, is no longer tenable. Our cities need real political leadership, and that means the office of Mayor cannot remain a ceremonial role. We cannot change Mayors every 12 months and expect coherent and effective leadership. It is time we got the development of urban Ireland right and directly elect men and women with vision to take on that task.
“Take for example the current stalemate between the National Transport Authority and Dublin City Council. The NTA want to build an eastern by-pass across Dublin Bay, completing the M50 as a ring road. Dublin City Councillors voted to remove this from the development plan, urging a greater focus on public transport. The unelected Council Executive said the removal of the NTA’s plan may be illegal. Just who is in charge in this mess? These types of disputes are all too common, and highlight the need for a powerful directly elected executive.”
Waterford Senator Grace O’Sullivan said: “If people are serious about what they say about new politics, then our bill should be able to attract real cross party support. If agreed and enacted within a year, Dubliners should be able to directly elect their own Mayor at the same time they elect their Councillors at the local elections in 2019. There is no reason why Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford could not follow suit and we could see which cities thrive best when given this new responsibility.”