Historic day for Limerick as directly elected mayor bill passed through Oireachtas

LIMERICK political history was made today (Wednesday) as the Local Government (Mayor of Limerick) and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2023 was officially passed through the houses of the Oireachtas.

The bill lays in concrete the provision for a directly elected mayor in Limerick from this coming local election.

The legislation is many years in the waiting, having been first voted for by the people of Limerick in May 2019.

Welcoming the passage of the bill, local Limerick TD and Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Kieran O’Donnell, who was a strong proponent of the bill, said: “I am incredibly proud to have brought this historic legislation through the Oireachtas. It is one of the most significant reforms in local government since the foundation of the state.”

“The bill, once enacted, will provide the mandate, structures, and means to deliver on the ambition of the office of the first directly elected Mayor of Limerick.”

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Under the legislation, the directly elected mayor will take on many of the current executive functions of the local authority, which currently rest with the chief executive of Limerick City and County Council, and will also take on a range of new functions, supported by a budget to implement the Mayor’s programme and priorities.

“Having a directly elected mayor will enable the people of Limerick to have a greater say over how services and infrastructure are delivered and how Limerick develops, as they voted for by plebiscite,” Minister of State O’Donnell continued.

“I would like to thank colleagues across the Oireachtas for their engagement on this landmark legislation as it progressed in both Houses as well acknowledging the extensive work of my Department officials throughout this process.

“Finally, I wish to acknowledge the important input of the councillors and officials in Limerick City and County Council in developing the legislation.”

The Bill also makes provision for holding of plebiscites in other local authority areas on the question of whether to directly elect a mayor.

It has been confirmed that the election for a directly elected Mayor of Limerick will be held on the same date as the Local and European Elections in 2024, which be between June 6 and 9.

A number of candidates have already emerged in the race for Limerick’s first directly elected mayor.

First to come forward was Green Party TD Brian Leddin, followed by People Before Profit candidate Ruairí Fahy.

Just this week, former Secretary General of the Department of Finance, John Moran, put his name forward as an independent candidate, as well as Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan, who will contest a nomination from Fianna Fáil.