Limerick a ‘guinea pig’ for Directly Elected Mayor

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Fine Gael Councillor Gerald Mitchell.

LIMERICK has been used as a “guinea pig” in relation to a Directly Elected Mayor (DEM) and a plebiscite should be held again.

This was the clear message from councillors at the full meeting of Limerick City and County Council on Monday.

Council members from the Cappamore-Kilmallock District proposed that the Citizen’s Assembly set up to look into the logistics and recommendations for the DEM for Dublin. They then want the assembly to report their findings back in the interest of fairness, balance, transparency, and clarity to the proposed office of DEM in Limerick.

Proposing the motion, Fine Gael councillor Gerald Mitchell deemed this move as “basic common sense”.

“We have been denied the Citizen’s Assembly and used as guinea pigs. The whole thing was rushed. We want a Directly Elected Mayor with extra teeth and muscle. We don’t want to end up with something symbolic with little power,” Cllr Mitchell opined.

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“The vote should be held again. Do it right or it will be detrimental for the city and county. Let’s make sure we get it right.”

Independent councillor Eddie Ryan supported the motion and hit out that a “Brexit has been done on this”.

“It has been made up as we are going along,” he said.

Fine Gael councillor John Egan took the view that more clarity is needed.

“We haven’t got that clarity yet but until we get it, we shouldn’t have a Directly Elected Mayor,” he insisted.

Fianna Fáil councillor Martin Ryan also offered his support to the motion.

“We have put the cart before the horse. We deserve better,” he said.