Tuesday 12 December 2017

Sinn Fein to hold mayor’s office for centenary of 1916

Christy Burke to be mayor for independents’ grouping
Christy Burke to be mayor for independents’ grouping
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

SINN Fein will get to pick one of its councillors to be Lord Mayor of Dublin for the massively symbolic 2015/2016 term.

The city’s councillors last night agreed to a cross-party voting arrangement involving the election of a Sinn Fein lord mayor for the period that includes the 1916 Rising centenary celebrations.

As part of the pact, former Sinn Fein councillor Christy Burke will today be elected as Dublin’s newest lord mayor.

He was the choice of the independent-elected representatives. It was agreed that Sinn Fein councillor Larry O’Toole will be Mr Burke’s deputy.

The voting arrangement, hailed as a significant victory by Sinn Fein, means that each of the five groups in the council will get to elect a lord mayor over the next five years.

Councillors agreed that the first year of the new term would go to the independents, with Mr Burke the preferred candidate for the position. He will serve the 2014/2015 term.

Next will be the Sinn Fein nomination. The party has not yet decided which of its councillors will be chosen for the position. However it is understood that Independent Nial Ring has been lined up as deputy for the period.

Each of the other groups, Labour, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, will share a year each of the remainder of the years.

Speaking about the voting arrangement, one councillor expressed concern that Sinn Fein could try to “hijack” the 1916 celebration.

“Obviously I would rather one of our councillors to be there.

“I don’t want Sinn Fein to hijack the position, you know, that the Sinn Fein of 1916 is the same as Sinn Fein today, they are not,” the councillor said.

Sinn Fein’s success in the local elections gave the party the impetus to argue for one of its councillors taking the coveted 2016 position.

The party is the best represented on Dublin’s council, with 16 councillors.

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