Costello calls for national plebiscite on directly elected Mayors

16 April 2019

by Joe Costello

Highlighting the lost opportunity of not holding a plebiscite for a directly elected Mayor in Dublin, Labour candidate for the North Inner City Joe Costello has called for a national plebiscite instead so that no area is left behind.

Mr Costello said:

"The Government has published its plans for Directly elected Mayors in the three big cities and in two of the counties in Munster- Cork city, Limerick city and county, and Waterford city and county. A plebiscite will be held in those areas to coincide with the local and EU elections asking people to vote on proposals to establish directly elected mayors with executive functions.

"It makes absolutely no sense to hold a plebiscite in one province and to ask the people of the main cities and some counties in Munster what they think of the idea of a directly elected Lord Mayor and not do the same for the other three provinces. Any plebiscite which has the potential to radically alter the way our cities and counties are governed should be the subject of a national plebiscite not a localised one within a single province.

"Dublin, the capital, was the first city in Ireland where the proposal for a directly elected lord mayor was made. However, Dublin has been left out of the loop entirely by the Government who appear to be hell bent on establishing a sort of ‘Republic of Munster’ with devolved executive powers.

"This plebiscite is not just a lost opportunity but it is also establishing a dangerous precedent in treating one part of the country differently in terms of its future governance.

"Even at this late stage the Government should withdraw its provincial plebiscite and make the issue of a directly elected mayor a plebiscite of all the people of the country."