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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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Lord Mayor: Developers hanging on to prime Dublin sites should face penalties

Oisín Quinn has been setting out his aims for his term in office in a wide-ranging interview. On a personal front, his priorities include trying to accommodate a young family and small dog in the garden-less Mansion House…

THE NEW LORD Mayor of Dublin’s relishing his time in office. Oisín Quinn’s facing a slightly truncated term at the Mansion House: 50 weeks as opposed to the usual 52, as the local elections are due to be held next May – and the Labour councillor was light-heartedly bemoaning that fact when TheJournal.ie called in for an interview during the week.

Considering the largely ceremonial nature of the role, Quinn says he is determined to achieve something significant in the job. On his lengthy to-do list are ways to improve the transport system for Dubliners, plans to introduce a levy for developers who hoard prime city sites, and the small matter of helping decide how a mayorship with wider-ranging powers should be set-up.

On site levies…

Quinn is hoping to persuade the Government to tax developers who hold on to prime sites in the hope that their value will rise, instead of developing the land. As part of the plans, developers would be given the chance to get a break from any new levies if they allowed the space to be used for a pop-up park or other civic-minded project…


And what are the chances of this actually happening?

On plans for an elected mayor…

A directly-elected mayor needs to be a priority for Dublin if the city wants to compete with other similarly-sized cities across Europe, according to Quinn. Dubliners are set to vote on the issue next summer, and proposals are currently being put together on how a position with executive powers would work. Quinn says Local Government Minister Phil Hogan has been “open and enthusiastic” on the issue…


On Transport Minister Leo Varadkar…

The two men had a breakfast meeting during the week. Quinn says transport is a huge issue for the city, and that the Fine Gael minister is “full of fresh energy and ideas”…


On dynasties in Irish politics…

Quinn is a nephew of Education Minister Ruairí Quinn…


On family life in the Mansion House…

Dublin’s ‘first family’ will be part-time occupants of the Dawson Street residence, Quinn says….


(All videos Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie – Editing by Nicky Ryan)

More: Dublin needs a mayor with ‘real powers’, but role unlikely before 2019 >

Read: This man is the new Lord Mayor of Dublin

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