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Cllr Dermot Lacey

Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council
Dermot Lacey is a Labour Party Councillor for the Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council. Dermot has been a member of Dublin City Council since 1993, and lives in Beech Hill, Donnybrook.
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 / Cllr Dermot Lacey ƒ Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council

Former Taoiseach challenged to debate on the role of a directly elected Mayor of Dublin

“Now that the Minister for the Environment and Local Government has finally announced his decision on a directly elected Mayor can I first of all welcome this as a step forward. I have campaigned for this for over six years now. It of course follows the recent statement of support for a directly elected ‘Lord Mayor’ of Dublin by the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. That support was of course new and a surprising development,” says another former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Dermot Lacey.

“As he has declared his interest, let me declare mine and I challenge Bertie Ahern at this stage to debate the issues facing our County.

“However it begs the question why did he not do this when he could? More accurately, it begs the question, why did he allow Noel Dempsey to provide for this, in the Local Government Act of 2000 only to allow the more craven Martin Cullen reverse the legislation several years later.  I want to see a Mayor for Dublin and not a Lord Mayor of Dublin.

“As we approach the Local Elections there is an emerging recognition that our current system of Local Government requires renewal and reform.

“Having argued for this for years I would welcome the opportunity to publicly debate with the former Taoiseach the merits of such a new post.

“While the detail of any reform is extensive, the essentials are not. If it is to be in any way meaningful reform must include:

  • An Independent source of funding for Local Authorities and not subject to the whims of the Department of the Environment.
  • Reform of the City and County Managers Act creating a new post of Chief Executive Officer – accountable to the relevant Local Authority and recruited by the Public Appointments Commission.
  • A directly elected Mayor of Dublin with a five year term and accountable to an enhanced Dublin Regional Authority.

“In that context I believe that Bertie Ahern is wrong to advance the case of a directly elected Lord Mayor solely for the City. It is the Dublin region that needs such political leadership.

  • Extending the role of the Dublin Regional Authority to include Transport and Planning and subsuming bodies such as the Dublin Transport Authority and the Affordable Housing Partnership.
  • Real controls and limitations on electoral spending at local elections and an ethical framework that is robust and just.

“Local Government is best placed to deliver real reform if let. It is time to stand up for better Local Government and long past time to ‘Stand up for Dublin’.”

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