Limerick makes history as country’s first directly-elected Mayor inaugurated

Mayor Moran was inaugurated at a ceremony in St Mary's Cathedral last week. Photo: Don Moloney.

IT has been said that the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. And Limerick, as its bold and pioneering nature reveals, is leading the dance once again.

Last Friday, Ireland’s first ever directly-elected Mayor (DEM), John Moran, made his way from City Hall to St Michael’s Cathedral to the stirring sound of the City of Limerick Pipe Band for his inauguration ceremony.

With a sense of history and expectation hanging in the air, the country’s first ever directly-elected Mayor vowed to “serve all of the people of Limerick to the best of my ability”.

Dressed in ceremonial robes and led by a piper into Limerick’s oldest
building, the new Mayor was vested with the Mayoral Chain of Office by outgoing Mayor of Limerick City and County, Gerald Mitchell.

In front of 200 invited guests at St Mary’s Cathedral, the new Mayor of Limerick spoke of a “new energy and a new confidence in the air” since the election.

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“On June 7, in ways that pleased me so much personally, Limerick not only voted for change, it also united as one Limerick. With a resounding message to a world which is too often drawn to division, Limerick declared it sees its own strength in its diversity,” Mayor Moran said.

“Let those who try to sow division in our society hear that message clearly. Limerick voted for a vision of one Limerick and a Limerick which will include everyone, rural and urban as well as new and old communities right across the entire county.”

At the inauguration ceremony, schoolchildren Shaheer Ghaffer, Sean Fitzgerald, and Tia Costelloe asked Mayor Moran, “will you diligently perform the responsibilities entrusted to you and serve the people of Limerick to the best of your ability?”

“I will” was the answer from Mayor Moran, who later added: “For the first time in the history of Limerick, the Mayor of Limerick, or Meara Luimnigh, is not just the Mayor, but the Mayor of the people and belongs truly to them.”

“Limerick has taken its place, unique among all of the local authorities in Ireland, as a place where all residents who can vote now select their mayor. That is a special and valued right.”

Director General of Limerick City and County Council, Dr Pat Daly described the occasion as “ a significant milestone” in Limerick’s journey.

“From our rich medieval heritage to our vibrant arts, cultural, and sports scene, Limerick has consistently led the way. Today, we add another chapter to our legacy — a Mayor elected directly by the people, with a mandate to shape our future.”

Dr Daly told Mayor Moran that he carries “the hopes and dreams of your community, and we trust that you will work alongside us toward a more prosperous and vibrant Limerick. One Limerick, with one voice. Together, now, we’ll continue to make history.”

Members of the public had the chance to meet with the newly vested Mayor of Limerick at Limerick City and County Council’s Headquarters at Merchants Quay following the ceremony.

The Mayor and the 40 elected Limerick councillors attended their first formal meeting in Dooradoyle council chamber later the same day.