IT is time the people of Limerick are given their say on having a directly elected Limerick Mayor, Fine Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell has said.
The Limerick Senator was speaking after An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar proposed to hold a plebiscite on a directly elected Mayor for Limerick next year.
Senator O’Donnell is fully in support of the proposal made by the Fine Gael leader in a letter to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. The proposal is part of a package to extend the Confidence and Supply arrangement which copper fastens the lifetime of the current Government. The current arrangement is due to expire this year.
“I am delighted that an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has reaffirmed Limerick’s premier status with this firm proposal for a directly elected Mayor here,” Senator O’Donnell said.
“Importantly, it would provide a welcome opportunity for the people of Limerick to democratically decide by way of plebiscite whether to have a directly elected Mayor here. This vote would happen in 2019, possibly on the same day as the local elections.”
It is expected the plebiscite would be open to all the electorate in Limerick City and County council. Should it pass, the Government would then draw up legislation and if it proceeds through the Oireachtas, the first elections for Limerick voters for their directly elected Mayor could be held in 2020 or 2021.
“The issue of a directly elected Mayor for Limerick has come up many times in the past. However, this is the first-time that any party is giving a definite intention to progress the matter in a defined timeline and allow the people to decide,” Senator O’Donnell said.
“I believe that this proposal for a plebiscite will be favorably received by the people of Limerick,” he added.