Legislation for Limerick directly elected mayor is Government priority

Government Chef Whip Hildegarde Naughton.

LEGISLATION paving the way for a Limerick mayoral election is among the Government’s legislative priorities to be addressed before the summer break.

It follows the publication this week of the Government’s legislative agenda for the months up to July when the Dáil goes into recess.

The agenda, published by Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton, identifies 19 bills for priority publication and a further 20 for drafting.

Four years after the people of Limerick voted in a plebiscite to have a directly elected mayor, the long-awaited bill setting out the powers of the officeholder is among those selected for publication.

Other legislation in that category includes the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill to ban the sale of vaping equipment to children and the Health (Termination of Pregnancy Services Safe Access Zones) Bill to provide safe access zones for abortion services.

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Laws will be published establishing an agency with responsibility for coordinating Government actions to tackle Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence as well as the Automatic Enrolment Retirement Saving System Bill which will give legal standing to the proposed auto-enrolment pensions scheme.

Legislation will also be published to agree the wording of a proposed referendum on gender equality to remove the reference to “women in the home”.

The Department of Housing will publish a bill to allow tenants in rental properties a first right of refusal to purchase a property when it is put forward for sale. This was one of the actions promised by the Government when it allowed the ban on no-fault evictions to lapse earlier this month.