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Sinn Féin's new Dublin mayor wants street parties to remember 1916

Críona Ní Dhálaigh stopped by for a High Table Interview last week. Here’s what we found out.

criona mansion house

TODAY MARKS EXACTLY two weeks since Críona Ní Dhálaigh became Lord Mayor of Dublin in a historic first.

As the first Sinn Féin mayor the capital has ever had, the south inner city councillor will hold the role during next year’s historic 1916 centenary celebrations, something not everyone is happy about.

As she was still getting to grips her new position, we invited Ní Dhálaigh into TheJournal.ie offices last Friday to find out a bit more about her and her plans for the next 12 months.

Here’s what we found out:

1. She’s not comfortable in the media spotlight

Ní Dhálaigh is honest enough to admit that it’s all been a bit “overwhelming” so far. She’s also prepared to admit that she’s not entirely suited to the role of Lord Mayor of Dublin.

It will be difficult for me in the role that I have now because I am not comfortable in the limelight. I am not comfortable in the media glare.

So why’s she doing it?

Source: Paul Hosford/TheJournal.ie

2. She loves her predecessor

Having been at the forefront of the Garth Brooks controversy and homelessness crisis, Christy Burke certainly left his mark on the office of Lord Mayor. Ní Dhálaigh has a lot of time for him having known him since she was a child.

He will be a hard act to follow, but I think what Christy has done is he’s actually paved the path for future lord mayors in that the platform must be used to represent all of the citizens of Dublin, but particularly the most marginalised.

How can she follow in his footsteps?

Source: Paul Hosford/TheJournal.ie

3. She wants a real mayor for Dublin

Ní Dhálaigh was “devastated” when Fingal County Council scuppered plans for a directly-elected mayor for the capital last year.

She spoke passionately of the need for an executive first citizen and said she would back efforts to revive the project.

I actually think it was a blow to democracy because Dublin needs a directly-elected mayor and the citizens in Dublin are entitled to a directly-elected mayor.

Source: Paul Hosford/TheJournal.ie

4. Sinn Féin will not hijack 2016

As you would expect, Ní Dhálaigh insists her party will not attempt to hijack the 1916 commemoration events next year. She insists, in the face of scepticism, that she will be “completely inclusive”.

Interestingly, Ní Dhálaigh also wants to see “people’s initiatives” and citizens “taking control of events” in memory of those who fought and died in the Rising.

But she also wants a celebratory element to the commemorations, suggesting it could be like the 4th of July in the US with street parties, but in a “respectful way”.

Source: Paul Hosford/TheJournal.ie

5. She’s upgrading to the Mansion House

As we reported last week, Ní Dhálaigh will be moving into the Mansion House on Dawson Street in contrast to her predecessor.

The Lord Mayor’s official residence is definitely an upgrade, she said. As a mother of two grown-up sons and grandmother to a five-year-old girl, the family home has become a bit crowded in recent years. Being able to live in the Mansion House gives Ní Dhálaigh’s family more space in her house.

As for the new digs, there are THREE bathrooms, but no flatscreens and not even a UPC connection. Watch:

Source: Paul Hosford/TheJournal.ie

WATCH: Dublin’s new mayor wants supervised injection centres for drug addicts

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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