LIMERICK city Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has questioned the government on when the legislation regarding the election of a directly elected Mayor of Limerick will be ready.
Speaking in the Dáil this week, Deputy Quinlivan noted how the Programme for Government had committed to holding the election in 2021, and acknowledged that due to the Covid-19 pandemic this timeline has not been met.
“We are now over two years on from the plebiscite on whether Limerick should have a directly elected Mayor. I fear that the longer we delay on this, the less appetite the public will have for the holding of such an election.”
“Regardless of when the election is held, the most important thing is that the Mayor is furnished with sufficient powers to enable him or her to work effectively. The establishment of an elected Mayoral position in Limerick will be the forerunner to any attempt to create such an elected position in other counties. It is crucial that we get this right, not only for the people for Limerick but also as a beacon of what can be achieved when powers are devolved locally,” said Deputy Quinlivan.
He continued: “When the plebiscite was put to the people of Limerick, we were supportive of the proposal. We continue to be so, and we are committed to ensuring that any future democratically elected mayor of Limerick will have sufficient powers to perform their functions. Sinn Féin will review the legislation robustly when it is published, and we will submit amendments to the legislation to ensure all the requisite powers are transferred to the holder of this new proposed office.”
“It is important that such legislation is published as quickly as possible and that a definitive date is set for the holding of the election for the Mayoralty.”
Deputy Quinlivan remarked that the move to a directly elected Mayor would be “a great opportunity for Limerick to put power in the hands of an elected Mayor instead of unelected officials”.
He concluded: “There are many challenges in Limerick that need to be addressed and there is an important role for any elected Mayor in addressing these challenges. We in Sinn Féin are committed to ensuring this legislation creates an elected Mayoral position complete with the necessary powers to make a significant impact on the well being of citizens in Limerick. We simply must get it right.”