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John Moran (centre), the new mayor of Limerick Alamy Stock Photo
Chains of office

Former civil servant John Moran wins race to be Ireland's first directly-elected mayor in Limerick

Moran, who ran as an independent, topped the poll and led the race throughout.

FORMER CIVIL SERVANT John Moran has been elected mayor of Limerick, the first time that the electorate has been able to vote for someone to hold the position. 

Moran, who ran as an independent, had topped the poll and led the race throughout. 

Independent candidate Helen O’Donnell came second, followed by Dee Ryan of Fianna Fáil. 

Moran had gained 3,493 votes from Ryan’s transfers, bringing him to 28,451 in the final count.

O’Donnell gained 4,476, for a total of 23,829 votes.

Before now, elected councillors chose among themselves who would take the role of mayor and the term only lasted one year.

The vote by the people of Limerick has been described as a “radical” shakeup.

The new mayor will “personally define and oversee” the policies that shape the city and county, taking on many of the responsibilities that currently reside with the chief executive of the council.

The salary is €154,134, in the same band as a chief executive of any local authority.

In 2019 plebiscites were held in Limerick, Cork and Waterford to decide whether these areas should reform how they choose their mayors.

Limerick voted in favour of reform by a small majority of 52.4%.

However, Cork and Waterford narrowly rejected the proposal by fewer than a thousand votes each. The Department of Local Government is still considering a report on a proposed new mayor’s office for the capital and there are no plans as yet for Dubliners to vote on whether they’d like a directly elected mayor.

Find out more about the mayor’s role here.

This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work are the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here.


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Christine Bohan and Mairead Maguire
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