Legislation for Limerick Directly Elected Mayor will be published in April

Limerick Green Party TD Brian Leddin

RECENTLY appointed Minister of State for Local Government Kieran O’Donnell has said that the legislative framework for a Directly Elected Limerick Mayor is well advanced and he is working towards the Bill being published in April this year.

He was responding to his fellow Limerick City TD Brian Leddin who asked for an update on the legislation and said that he  shares the frustration of the people of Limerick who have been waiting for a directly elected mayor since 2019.

“It has been almost four years since the people of Limerick voted to elect their mayor directly and to bring more functions and powers to the local level,” the Green Party TD said.

“I want to congratulate the Minister on his recent promotion and urge him to treat this legislation as a priority. As a Limerick man, he will have a great understanding of the process so far. I welcome his commitment to deliver this legislation during the 2023 summer session.”

Deputy Leddin said there is a significant opportunity with the election of a mayor with executive functions in Limerick to radically reshape how local government operates. However, it is essential that the office has real powers and resources to make a difference.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

“Local councils were previously responsible for significant aspects of education, water services and health. As the government became more centralised, more and more of these powers were stripped away from local councils.

“Currently, local government has responsibility in the areas of planning, local roads, libraries, the arts, and the environment with the local authority and the councillors acting more or less as administrators for the national government and national agencies.

“While it is significant that the legislation is for a directly elected mayor with a democratic mandate, what is more important  is the executive functions – the powers – that will come with the new role. We need to see more powers being devolved to local authorities in areas such as health care, education, policing and transport.

“We are witnessing how centralised health services and a one-size-fits-all approach has led to poor outcomes for the Mid-West region and this is something that is manifesting acutely at the moment in Limerick,” Deputy Leddin added.