A PROMINENT Labour TD has become the latest politician to say he would run to become the first directly elected mayor of Dublin.
Dublin North-Central TD Aodhan O Riordain, pictured, said he would give "strong consideration" to the role if it is established and given adequate powers.
It comes after the Transport Minister Leo Varadkar told the Irish Independent at the weekend he would also consider running for the job if it was given proper powers.
Mr O Riordain said it "would be an exciting thing to be involved in and I would give strong consideration to putting my name forward if the opportunity arose".
Voters in the four Dublin local authority areas – Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown – will be asked next year if they want a directly elected mayor.
A working group of councillors from the four local authorities will decide what powers the mayor could have, and this will then be put to Dubliners.
Mr O Riordain said he supports the idea of a mayor with strong executive powers.
"Certainly they mayor would have to have executive powers to make it attractive for people like me to put their names forward," he said.
"I myself would support the idea of a directly elected mayor. I think the mayor (Lord Mayor) we have at the moment has a level of influence which is sometimes underestimated but I think having a directly elected mayor with real powers for a prolonged period of time would make people think differently about their city and give political leadership to the entirety of the city.
"And if the people of Dublin decided they want that office, there would obviously be a selection convention within the Labour Party for us to put forward a candidate.
"I think at that stage I would strongly consider putting my name forward."
And he rejected the notion that only someone with Cabinet experience could be considered the best person for the job.
But he did say that "a certain level of political experience" would be required.
The results so far of an online survey is being carried out by the four Dublin council indicates that voters would prefer a mayor with stronger powers.
The survey gives a number of options: a directly elected mayor, with his or her own cabinet; an elected mayor, who would work with staff already in place in local authorities; or an elected mayor, with no executive powers but a strong representational role.
Labour councillor Dermot Lacey said the latest results from the survey showed around 40pc of people favouring the first option, with 30pc favouring the second. The remainder said they would prefer a mayor without any executive powers.