Wednesday 4 March 2015

Burke wants 'bygone title' of Lord Mayor to be dropped

Published 28/08/2014 | 02:30

Sein Fein's Cllr Christy Burke
Christy Burke

The Lord Mayor of Dublin would like to lose the title of 'lord' as he feels it is a throwback to British imperialism.

And it seems Christy Burke may be on the verge of getting his way as Dublin City Council is to consider it.

Independent Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn has proposed a motion to remove the archaic title from the position.

Mr Flynn described the title as a "colonial-era title of subservience" and it was time to make a change.

"We need to make a statement that we are a republic in these waters, we are the only republic in these waters," he said.

"It's a bygone title for a bygone era."

When asked in June what Mr Burke's young self - an 18-year-old IRA volunteer - would say if he knew that he would one day become lord mayor, he laughed.

"I'd say: 'You know I'm going to become mayor one day.' Maybe the 'lord' needs to be deleted because it's a British title," said Mr Burke.

Mr Flynn said that in recognition that his colleague does not want to be called lord, he was bringing the proposal forward.

He accepted that some people liked the title but said that it should become a "museum piece".

The motion before the protocol committee regarding the mayor title, said: "In keeping with best practice and mindful of the connotations of the word lord in lord mayor that this committee agree to decommission the title lord mayor and replace it with the much more civic and inclusive title of civic mayor".

Motion

The motion said that such a title would be a "much more" democratic description and title.

"The days of lords go back to a time when Ireland was under foreign rule and in many respects it is an alien colonialist term. The capital, Dublin, of the Irish Republic should assert itself and strike a new title and description for the elected chairperson and civic mayor of Dublin City and Council. Perhaps a plebiscite and a ballot among city councillors could be considered here," it said.

A second proposal before the council has suggested replacing the deputy lord mayor's chains with a badge - due to the cost of security.

Mr Flynn said that in many instances the chain has to be picked up by elected members, held in a secure place or brought back on the same day. "Chains are valuable items and there is a risk associated with them," he said.

Irish Independent

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