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Dublin: -1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019

Christy Burke wants to team up with Ming's successor ... maybe

Dublin’s Lord Mayor is considering running for the Dáil.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

CHRISTY BURKE IS considering running for the Dáil in the next General Election.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor told “not a day goes by that people don’t tell me to run for election, that my time is here”.

Burke said he hasn’t said a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but would need to give any election plans serious consideration as politics “takes a lot out of life”.

If he were to launch a Dáil bid, he said he’d be interested in joining forces with Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, who took Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s seat in the Roscommon-South Leitrim by-election last October.

Earlier this month, Fitzmaurice told us he is interested in setting up a new political party that would not be bound by the whip system – something he said was “destroying Irish politics”.

Burke said he plans to contact Fitzmaurice next week to discuss the possibility of working together in the future.

The Lord Mayor said both men had a similar approach to politics, noting that Fitzmaurice “is not going to take any crap from party whips”. He said people are “crying out” for someone to help those most in need.

[Fitzmaurice] is a guy I’d like to sit beside and have my back. No disrespect to Shane Ross and Lucinda Creighton (who have also expressed interest in setting up new parties or alliances) – they’re very nice people but their policies would be too right-wing for me. If I was looking at siding up with anyone it would be Michael Fitzmaurice.

Burke, who has unsucessfully ran for the Dáil in the past, said – if elected – he would focus on fighting against “austerity cuts of all descriptions”, introducing fairer tax bands, making apprenticeships more accessible, and housing.

He was one of the driving forces behind the emergency homeless summit that took place in Dublin on 4 December following the death of Jonathan Corrie.

Burke said Enda Kenny called him on Christmas Eve to inform him that 271 beds had been made available for homeless people in the capital, with a bus transferring many people to suitable accommodation.

He said this was “encouraging” news but added he would meet with Cathal Morgan, Director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, and Dick Brady, Assistant City Manager of Dublin City Council’s Housing & Residential Department, early in January to see “if anything slipped through the cracks”.

“I intend to keep my foot on that pedal,” he stated.

Burke was first elected to Dublin City Council in 1985. He resigned from Sinn Féin three days are being re-elected in the 2009  local election.

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Órla Ryan

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