Former LDA boss throws name in hat for Limerick’s directly elected mayor

Former LDA boss John Moran has announced his bid for Limerick's directly elected mayor.

IN A day for announcements, yet another candidate has put their name into the hat for Limerick’s directly elected mayor’s role.

Former Land Development Agency boss and secretary general of the Department of Finance, John Moran, confirmed today (Tuesday) that he wants to be Limerick’s first directly elected mayor.

The 57-year-old Limerick man will be contesting the election as an Independent candidate.

The news comes as Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan announced her bid for the Fianna Fáil mayoral nod earlier today.

Mr Moran acknowledged that the legislation around the position contains “an extra hurdle for anyone independent of party politics” and petitioned his supporters to formally nominate him as a candidate.

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“I love Limerick so much, and as mayor I will work day and night for us to match our potential as a county,” he said. “But even to get on the ballot as an independent, I need dozens of Limerick voters to nominate me.”

The former LDA head has long been rumoured for a bid for the position, but confirmed it officially today for the first time.

“Finally, the era of a largely-ceremonial, part-time Mayor for Limerick, and selected by the parties on a rota, is over,” he said.

“The new full-time executive mayor, chosen directly by the people for five years, will develop how an annual budget of almost one billion euros should be invested.

“On the mayor’s shoulders will be pivotal decisions which will have consequences for decades in our county. Make those correctly and the future will be bright. Get them wrong and we will slip further behind other areas in Ireland.”

Mr Moran said it was “obvious” that Limerick would be “better off with a non-party person in the role”.

“He or she will have to advocate credibly and strategically for Limerick with other stakeholders and government ministers, including those with strong policy views which might not align immediately with Limerick’s best interests,” he said.

The former Department of Finance general secretary said that Limerick now needs “to debate what we need from our new mayor with their new executive powers, how they will work with the councillors and officials”.

“I have long believed Limerick has huge untapped potential, which can be realised by an executive mayor with the right skills and life experiences. We can be more ambitious than we have been about outcomes. We deserve better delivery of important infrastructure, housing, public services, and business supports. Other candidates may differ from me of course and argue for the status quo and voters need to hear us debate those differences too.”