Sunday 23 October 2016

Labour and Sinn Féin's 'secret' deal on top council jobs

Published 29/06/2015 | 02:30

Objection: Independent councillor Mannix Flynn
Objection: Independent councillor Mannix Flynn

Sinn Féin and the Labour Party have struck a secret deal to ensure both parties control the top jobs in Dublin City Council.

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Both parties have agreed a document entitled 'The Dublin City Alliance' that outlines a number of joint policies in issues such as rates and the property tax.

But, significantly, the deal ensures both parties have virtually full control over the positions of mayorship until 2019.

A copy of the deal, which has been seen by this newspaper, details the series of top jobs agreed by councillors in Sinn Féin and Labour.

The deal has not been publicised by either party and has caused concern among other members of Dublin City Council. It also carves up the paid chairmanship positions between the political parties.

While the alliance predominantly benefits Sinn Féin and Labour, it also has a loose involvement from some independents and the Green Party.

According to the document, Sinn Féin is to be given the position of Lord Mayor next year and again in 2018, before taking over the position of deputy mayor in 2019. Labour will hold both the Lord Mayor and deputy position in 2017 and will hold on to the deputy position in 2018. The position of Lord Mayor will be held by an Independent councillor in 2019.

Sinn Féin will hold the key position of housing committee chairperson. Labour will chair planning and international affairs, while sharing arts, culture and youth affairs with the Independents.

Details of the deal emerged after Independent councillor Mannix Flynn objected to Sinn Féin taking over the position of Lord Mayor later this year due to the controversy surrounding the IRA sex abuse allegations.

Outgoing Sinn Féin deputy mayor Larry O'Toole defended the deal, saying the party had previously attempted to ensure it was "inclusive of all groups".

"When we started talking, we wanted all parties and all jobs shared so that it was inclusive of everyone. But Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and others wouldn't go with it," he added.

Labour Councillor Dermot Lacey denied the deal was "secret", saying it was not previously in the public domain "because nobody has ever asked for it".

Irish Independent

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