Name of capital's new mayor pulled from a hat after tied vote
A LONG-TIME community activist was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin last night after a tied vote led to his name being pulled from a hat.
Independent councillor Vincent Jackson was elected to the ?63,000-a-year post beating off Labour's Paddy Bourke and Sinn Fein councillor Christy Burke to be elected the city's first citizen.
After the first round of votes, north inner city councillor Christy Burke was eliminated after failing to secure enough votes. Two councillors Wendy Hederman (PD) and Niamh Cosgrave (Ind) who held the balance of power voted for the Labour and Independent candidates respectively leaving votes tied for each councillor at 26 a-piece.
And in a nail-biting decider, Ballyfermot councillor Vincent Jackson was eventually pulled from the hat at City Hall.
Mr Jackson previously stood for mayor in 2001 but got only five votes and lost out to Fianna Fail's Michael Mulcahy for mayor. He was also nominated in 2003 but lost the mayoralty to Royston Brady, and again last year he lost out to outgoing Inchicore councillor Catherine Byrne (FG). Mr Jackson paid tribute to Artane councillor Paddy Burke saying he was "eternally sorry" that it came down to the name being picked from a hat.
In Cork, councillor Michael Ahern (64), of Labour, a finance lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology, took over as Lord Mayor of Cork from councillor Deirdre Clune of Fine Gael.
Socialist Party councillor Mick Barry described the ?82,000 salary for the post as "obscene".
The Cork salary is among the highest in the country.
Polish premier Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz's salary is just ?50,000 a year. Meanwhile, the youngest mayor in the country was also awarded her chain of office last night.
Councillor Sally Ann Flanagan (22), who works at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, was elected to Tuam Town Council on the first count at the last local government elections.
Also, Fine Gael's councillor Mary Greene was elected chair of Waterford County Council at the weekend. The mother-of-one was first elected in 1999.
Galway recently handed the mayoral chain of office to Green Party councillor Niall O Brolchain (41), while Fianna Fail Councillor Tom MacSharry was elected Mayor of Sligo yesterday. Councillor MacSharry, a solicitor and nephew of former EU Commissioner Ray MacSharry, received seven of the council's 12 votes.