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2024 will be landmark year for Limerick with Ireland’s first directly elected Lord Mayor – Byrne

14th December 2023 - Senator Maria Byrne

The direct election of a Lord Mayor for Limerick in 2024 will pave the way for the most significant local government reforms since the foundation of the State, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Following a further debate on the Local Government (Mayor of Limerick) Bill 2023, which took place in the Dáil last night, Senator Maria Byrne said: “This legislation, when passed, will pave the way for the mayor of Limerick to be elected by the people of Limerick in June of next year.

“As Fine Gael’s Director of Elections for the plebiscite which passed the directly elected Lord Mayor proposal, I welcome this progress.

“This will set Limerick City and County Council apart from the 30 other local authorities around the country as the first to transfer executive functions currently carried out with the Chief Executive to a directly elected Mayor.

“Over the past decade, with Fine Gael in government, we have seen a suite of wide-ranging reforms of local government, devolving more powers, strengthening oversight and governance and reinforcing the role of the elected council.

“I am also pleased that the role of the councillor has been bolstered. The introduction of maternity leave for councillors and a revised pay scale now makes the role of a councillor a more viable career option for many people,” Senator Byrne continued.

“The introduction of the local property tax has also brought greater financial stability to local authorities, the results of which are visible to the taxpayer, through enhanced services. Giving proper decision making powers to a Mayor that has been elected by the people will further deliver that value.

“How the devolution of powers from the Chief Executive over to the Mayor happens will be important and I look forward to debating on the practicalities of how this is managed in Seanad Éireann next month.

“Limerick’s first directly elected Lord Mayor will set an example for other counties and city regions to follow and we need to get this right,” Senator Byrne concluded.

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