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Quinn hits out in fight over mayor

DUBLIN'S Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn has slammed officials in the Department of Environment for resisting having a directly elected mayor in Dublin.

Mr Quinn says he is confident tonight's vote by Dublin City Council on whether to give Dubliners the right to decide if they want a directly elected mayor will pass but argues it doesn't make sense that councillors should have a say.


The other three Dublin local authorities will vote next week but the current Lord Mayor says this "quadruple lock" mechanism required to force a change is unheard of.

"I have not heard any explanation from the Government for this quadruple lock. Councillors have never been given a veto in relation to any other aspect of local government reform," he told the Herald.

"I sense department officials are wary of this new directly elected mayor office because it would give a very robust form of local government that would no longer be that dependent on the Custom House."

Mr Quinn accused the Department of Environment and local government of "giving the illusion of local democracy" but in reality they don't want councils to "run anything and if this proposal goes through there would be a transfer of power from the permanent officials in government to the mayor and councillors".

The 'quadruple lock' mechanism means all four councils have to pass the vote by a majority of councillors on each council and not just a majority of who turns up on the night.

The Labour councillor said he is confident tonight's vote will pass on the whole as he feels "all the indicators are there" that most councillors are in favour of the proposed change.

However he added Fingal County Council is the most difficult to call but says outspoken critics there of the change have not offered any alternatives.


"Cllr Kieran Dennison hasn't put forward yet any convincing reasons why the other councillors in Fingal should try to block Dubliners having their say so we'll just have to wait and see how it unfolds."

"If Phil Hogan and Enda Kenny wake up on April 1 and the proposal has failed because one local authority vetoed it, or just not enough councillors turned up to vote, they will look like fools."

Meanwhile Labour MEP Emer Costello has called on the four local authorities to support the vote on a directly elected mayor.