EM speaking re mayor april 2014

Mayor for Dublin vote should be put to the people

Posted April 11th, 2014

Draft remarks – click here to watch the video.

I would like to congratulate the Minister on bringing forward this amendment to the electoral bill and welcome the amendment.

In the context of the title of the Bill and seeing as the Minister is present in the chamber, I would like to raise the electoral issue of the proposed plebiscite of the people of Dublin on a directly elected Mayor for Dublin.

I think it is disgraceful that a minority of elected representatives acted in an anti-democratic fashion and chose to deny all of the people of Dublin, and not just the ones they represent, their say in this matter. I believe the outcome of the vote in Fingal should be ignored, and that a plebiscite should be put to the all the people of Dublin on whether or not they want a directly elected mayor for the city.

And to those who claim that such a decision by the Minster would also be anti-democratic, I believe that it is undemocratic to give elected members in Fingal a say over Councils and constituencies and people whom they do not represent.

The Councillors of Fingal have no mandate in Dublin City – why should they have a say over the people of Dublin city? But the people of Fingal should have a say over the Fingal Council and should have a say in whether or not the Dublin region has its own mayor.

I would urge the Minister, now that he has consulted all of the Councillors in the region and has a clear view of what the majority of them wish (75% of them are in favour), to proceed with a ballot of the people of Dublin on whether or not they would like a directly elected Mayor for the city region. And for this ballot to take place on 23 May.

The Minister has brought in many excellent reforms in a brief period of time – but this could be, if implemented, his most important yet.
Thank you