Limerick Chamber CEO announces bid for Directly Elected Mayor role

Former Limerick Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan.

AS the legislation for Limerick’s Directly Elected Mayor sits waiting to get the last pass of approval before being signed by President Michael D Higgins, a new candidate has this morning (Tuesday) put their name forward.

Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan this morning confirmed her intention to seek the nomination of the Fianna Fáil party as candidate for the upcoming directly elected mayoral position.

This decision comes after heavy of speculation that the Limerick mother of four would enter the race.

Hailing from the east Limerick village of Castleconnell, Ms Ryan attended Castleconnell national school followed by Laurel Hill secondary school, and studied business at University of Limerick before establishing SME ‘Spark Marketing’ in the city centre for 14 years.

She was appointed to the CEO position at Limerick Chamber in 2018, and has since represented the business community on various boards and two government taskforces – the Implementation Advisory Group for Directly Elected Mayor upon, whose report to government in 2020 the legislation for the new role was based, and the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce, which in its report in July 2023 made key findings and recommendations around the renewable energy opportunity, floating offshore wind from the port of Foynes.

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According to a statement released by the candidate this morning, over the last five years, Ms Ryan has been a prominent voice advocating for improved connectivity to Shannon Airport, highlighting the importance of air access into the region for securing foreign direct investment.

She is also a vocal critic of the lack of affordable housing in Limerick, urging the local authority and government to bring forward more affordable homes in the city and across county towns.

Commenting on her decision to pursue the Fianna Fáil nomination, Ms Ryan said: “I’m committed to working for Limerick city and county and look forward to engaging with the Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members, councillors ,and party members in this internal selection process.”

“If chosen to be the Fianna Fáil candidate, I would be deeply honoured and would leave no stone unturned in my efforts and commitment to win.

“If nominated and successful in the upcoming election, my priorities would be delivery of affordable housing, improved transport, and connectivity across the county and seizing the green energy opportunity from the Estuary to secure sustainable jobs for Limerick into the future.”

The Fianna Fáil party is expected to hold its selection convention in the coming weeks.