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I want to clean up city centre, says new Lord Mayor Naoise

THE newly elected Lord Mayor of Dublin has vowed to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the capital.

On his first day in office Naoise O Muiri told the Herald: "The city will once again become a place for families".

The Fine Gael councillor was last night elected as the city's 343rd Lord Mayor after receiving the backing of the Labour Party.

The Clontarf-based politician will now move to the Mansion House as he takes the chains from Labour's Andrew Montague.

O Muiri (39) described his election as a "huge honour" adding that there is "major potential" to transform Dublin for the better.

"I will be focusing on issues such as tourism, sport, the family and bringing Dublin right in to the digital era. I want to see a complete roll out of public broadband.

"And I will focus greatly on generating tourism.

"I want people to see Dublin for the wonderful city that we all know it is."

"I also want to build serious links with London. It's a big capital city right next door. There is a huge amount of Irish living and working there so let's try and get them back here."

O Muiri accepted that there are major issues of crime and anti-social behaviour in the city.

It comes as the Herald yesterday revealed that Romanian gangs have been behind a major pick pocketing epidemic which has resulted in 22 arrests by Pearse Street Garda Station in the last fortnight.


The Lord Mayor told the Herald: "There are serious issues there we need to address -- particularly in a zone from Abbey Street along the two boardwalks and into the south inner city.

"I intend to work closely with businesses and gardai on these issues. I want to make Dublin a place for families again -- a happy, safe and enjoyable place to live."

Mr O Muiri, a qualified engineer, was elected last night following a pact in the city council between Labour and Fine Gael.

Cllr Clare Byrne, daughter of Dublin South Central TD Catherine Byrne, will replace Labour's Maria Parodi as Deputy Mayor of Dublin.

However, the entire electoral process was strongly criticised by high-profile Fianna Fail councillor Mary Fitzpatrick who wants the position scrapped.

She told the Herald: "It is truly depressing that people who should know better met in City Hall and in a time of unprecedented economic hardship in the city agreed to splurge €1m on the purely ceremonial role of Lord Mayor of Dublin.

"The people of Dublin do not need 'tea and sympathy', we need real leadership."