Date Released: 18 June 2014
For the first time progressive parties and Independents have come together to agree a programme for the running of Dublin City Council over the next five years. Following last month’s election, which returned a clear majority of left-wing councillors to Dublin City Council, an agreement on mayoral appointments and general policy concerns was reached between Sinn Féin, Labour, Greens and some Independent councillors.
Labour Councillor and SIPTU Organiser, Brendan Carr, said: “This is the first time there has been a left controlled council. It will reflect the clear concerns of the voters of Dublin.”
He added: “The parties and individuals in the Dublin City Alliance share many core beliefs and the housing crisis will top the agenda, both in terms of assisting those who are homeless and seeking to increase the number of social housing units.”
The agreement will also see the roles of Lord Mayor of Dublin and Deputy Mayor shared between members of the Dublin City Alliance. In early June, Independent councillor Christy Burke was elected as Lord Mayor as part of the agreement with Sinn Féin’s Larry O’Toole taking the position of Deputy Mayor.
Over the next five years the positions will be held on a proportional basis by Sinn Féin, Labour and Independent councillors. There was a broad welcome for Burke’s election as Mayor given his many years of service on the council for the citizens of the city.
During the centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising, in 2016, the position of Lord Mayor will be held by a Sinn Féin representative. Sinn Féin with 16 councillors is the largest party on Dublin City Council.
The party’s councillor in Beaumont-Donaghmede, Mícheál Mac Donncha, said: “The size of the Sinn Féin vote was based onour opposition to austerity including the Local Property Tax and Water Charges. It was not some overnight sensation but due to the many years of work of our activists in communities across the city.”
He added: “We believe there is aneed for a clear alternative to be presented for the country and Dublin. The Alliance may help illustrate this to people with its focus, in particular, on housing and employment.”
The Dublin City Alliance has also committed to work together to achieve a budget for 2015 and subsequent years that is equitable, that adds no further to the financial burden on citizens and, where possible, eases that burden, but fully maintains Council services.
This article was published in the June 2014 issue of Liberty newspaper