THE Government is committed to passing legislation allowing for a directly elected Mayor in Limerick with an election likely to be held next year.
That’s according to Local Government Minister Peter Burke who said that the Bill enabling the election is on the priority list of legislation before the Oireachtas and he fully appreciates the urgency attached to it.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner Minister Burke said that he is committed to the establishment of the Directly Elected Mayor which would have “real powers”.
“I am working hard to ensure the bill to facilitate the new Mayor of Limerick is published shortly. I and the Government are fully committed to delivering on the democratic wishes of the people of Limerick.
“We have had a very significant amount of legislation go through the Oireachtas from our Department which has been time-consuming, however, the Mayor of Limerick bill is on the priority list of legislation and I fully appreciate the urgency attached to it.”
A vote in 2019 to create the role passed by a margin of 52.4 per cent to 47.6 per cent and the first holder of the office will remain in place until 2029, with five-year terms thereafter.
The officeholder will be paid a junior minister’s salary of €137,000 a year.
However, despite Government hopes that the legislation underpinning the mayor would be ready early this year, it is unlikely that the legislation will be brought to Cabinet before the summer recess.
While the process has taken longer than envisaged, it is planned to have the legislation through the Oireachtas before Christmas with a view to an election next year.
The first mayor will hold the office until the 2029 local elections, after which elections will be made on a five-year basis coinciding with local and European election cycles.