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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 1 September, 2014

Referendum on directly-elected Dublin mayor could be held in May

Dublin’s four councils most vote on the issue by 31 March.

Image: Voting via Shutterstock

THE FOUR DUBLIN local authorities are to consider holding a referendum on the issue of a directly-elected Dublin mayor.

The referendum could be held in conjunction with the local elections next May, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan said today.

Hogan noted that the issue of establishing a directly elected mayor in Dublin is “a complex one”.

The choice of whether or not there will be a directly elected mayor will not be made by me or by Government but will be decided by the local elected members of each of the 4 Dublin local authorities in the first instance, and if they are in favour, then a plebiscite will be put to the people of Dublin.

Proposal

The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides for a plebiscite for the Dublin Metropolitan area to be held, on the basis of a resolution prepared by a forum of the elected members in the four Dublin local authorities.

The forum to consider the matter met in April 2013 at Minister Hogan’s request, and submitted its proposals to the Minister late last year.

Now the Minister has asked each of the four Dublin local authorities to decide whether the matter should be put to a plebiscite.

While the Forum consulted locally in Dublin on the options for the office of directly elected mayor, they did not consult with Government Departments or national agencies. The proposal is therefore at a mainly conceptual level.

Hogan does not have the power to adjust or amend the substance of the proposal received from the forum.

If a plebiscite is to be held, the resolution and accompanying statement must be adopted by a majority of elected members in each of the Dublin local authorities by 31 March 2014.

If any of the four local authorities fail to pass the resolution, then the plebiscite will not be held.

Read: Revealed: Here are the powers a directly elected Dublin mayor could have>

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