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New Lord Mayor Gerry in vow to throw open his doors - and help jobless

DUBLIN's new Lord Mayor has vowed to have an open door policy at the Mansion House, revealing that the public will be welcome once a week to air any grievances they have.

Fine Gael Councillor Gerry Breen, who was elected to the post last night, told the Herald that the main aim of his tenure would be to focus on job creation.

"I am determined that all my actions as Lord Mayor over the course of the year ahead will be fully focused on aiding and abetting job creation. The worst place to be is unemployed, it depreciates the mental asset that people have in terms of their own self worth."



Problematic

The Clontarf man also has plans to open the Mansion House to the public every Wednesday from 8am to 10am, allowing Dublin citizens to come and talk to him about their complaints or ideas.

He told the Herald that he is willing to face any problems the new initiative might bring up: "It'll be problematic but sure what isn't problematic? My attitude is we are serving the people and it also creates the culture that there's someone available there. Some people have good ideas," he said.

He was congratulated by his wife, Maeve, and their three daughters Aoife, Eimear and Niamh as outgoing Lord Mayor Emer Costello passed over the chain of office.

His party colleague Councillor Edie Wynne was elected Deputy Mayor.

An active and ambitious year was predicted by the new Lord Mayor, who outlined several new departures in his acceptance speech.

"I do think that we have to do as much as we can whatever way we can and sometimes it'll be FAS courses, and sometimes it'll be internships for three/six months -- I'll be announcing that at the end of August," said the UCD graduate. He added that he hopes to place interns in a variety of different professions. "Interns could be anything -- commercial, logistics, and so on."

"My intention is to set up an intern project that is outside City Hall and will benefit industry and the unemployed. It's really a question of getting out there and selling the idea to employers and also to anyone who's unemployed."

The losing candidates, Councillor Criona Ni Dhailigh of Sinn Fein and Councillor Christy Burke, Independent, both pledged their full support for the new Lord Mayor.

Cllr Costello said: "When the dust settles I hope I will have made some small contribution to the wellbeing of the city and its citizens."

hnews@herald.ie


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