Housing is my priority, says city's new Lord Mayor Brabazon
The new Lord Mayor of Dublin says tackling the city's housing crisis will be his priority.
Fianna Fail councillor Tom Brabazon was elected by 34 votes to 26 in a roll-call vote, with three councillors exempt, at a special sitting of Dublin City Council last night.
Mr Brabazon served as Deputy Lord Mayor to Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe, who was elected to the Dail at the general election. Mr Brabazon's wife Liz and their three children joined him after his election as Lord Mayor.
Independent Councillor Anthony Flynn also contested the role.
"I'm delighted to be elected to the position," Mr Brabazon told the Herald.
"I've seen other councillors be candidates for Lord Mayor and miss out by one vote so it's a nerve-racking time. When you get over the line it's an absolutely wonderful feeling."
He said he will not recontest the Lord Mayor position when it is up for election again in June and will allow the Green Party to run a candidate as per the Dublin Agreement.
The agreement saw Fianna Fail, the Green Party, Labour and the Social Democrats come together to form a council majority after local authority elections last year.
"I'll take my four months and I'll be very grateful for it," he said. "The past four weeks have been a wonderful experience and you learn so much on the hoof. The priorities are to highlight access issues within the city for all citizens.
"Housing is a major priority for me and also to continue some of the very worthwhile initiatives that Paul McAuliffe began," he added.
Green Party, Labour and Social Democrat councillors voted for Mr Brabazon, while Fine Gael, People Before Profit and Social Democrat councillors voted for Mr Flynn. Fine Gael's Colm O'Rourke lost out to Fianna Fail Cllr Racheal Batten, who was elected as Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin. The mayors elected last night will only hold their positions until June 24, when a new Lord Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be elected.
Outgoing Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe said: "Being the 350th Lord Mayor of Dublin was probably the greatest honour of my life," he said.
"I learned in this chamber that you do far more together and very little alone."
Meanwhile five councillor vacancies, created by those elected to the Dail, were also filled.