Fianna Fail and Greens clash again over plans for mayor
IT'S a war of two campaigns over a future Dublin mayor -- but they're supposed to be on the same side.
A Fianna Fail TD in the capital who thinks the Green Party proposals for a directly elected mayor are a waste of money says there is no appetite for the position among Dubliners.
And Darragh O'Brien, TD for Dublin North, is to survey over a 1,000 people on the issue this month.
Green Dublin Mid-West TD Paul Gogarty is also launching a campaign to canvass opinion on the mayor proposal and Mr O'Brien's survey could spark fears in the junior coalition partner that Fianna Fail is trying to scupper its plans.
Mr Gogarty is championing the mayor proposals and is expected to be his party's candidate for the post when an election takes place, which is likely to be next spring.
"There are a lot of things Fianna Fail don't want but the Greens are going to get," Mr Gogarty said last night.
But Mr O'Brien, a former councillor on Fingal County Council, says he doesn't care if the Greens are worried.
"I don't care," he told the Irish Independent. "They have nothing to worry about.
"I don't see anything in this other than it being another layer and another administrator.
"When we're looking at areas where we're trying to save costs, I don't believe this is required and I don't believe it will be money well spent -- the office itself and the election and anything that goes with it."
But he says his views are personal, and he has not discussed his survey with Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
The survey will be carried out in three northside constituencies -- Dublin North, Dublin West and Dublin North-East -- and will be "as scientific as possible", according to Mr O'Brien.
Mr Gogarty described Mr O'Brien's survey as "premature", since the legislation establishing the mayor has yet to be published.
"I have no doubt there are people in Fianna Fail who want to delay this as much as possible," Mr Gogarty said. "It says in the Programme for Government that there will be a directly elected mayor by 2011."