Govt to ask Cork, Limerick and Galway if they want to elect their own mayor

Govt to ask Cork, Limerick and Galway if they want to elect their own mayor

People in Cork, Limerick and Galway are going to decide if they want to directly vote for their own mayor.

At present, councillors pick who is going to be mayor for a year.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wants to hold mini-referendums next May to see if people would prefer to directly elect their own mayor, who would then be in office for five years and have powers to make crucial decisions.

The vote would coincide with the Local and European elections.

Mr Varadkar exclusively revealed his plans to Newstalk at Fine Gael’s think-in in Galway.

He said: "If people in those cities and counties want to try this out, we will then make that happen in subsequent years."

If passed, it would mean a footballer or a local celebrity could become mayor instead of a politician.

The Taoiseach believes there’s nothing wrong with that, explaining: "We had a county footballer who became Taoiseach in the case of Jack Lynch - and was a good Taoiseach by all accounts.

"We've had people from GAA backgrounds who become MEPs and Ministers. So I don't think the fact that you're well-known or have a background in sports means that you mightn't be a good mayor."

Dublin will not be included in this mini-referendum.

A Citizens' Assembly will instead be established, where people will be asked what should be done in the capital.

The Taoiseach says the situation in Dublin is tricky, as the capital has four local authorities and they have to figure out how it could all work.

- Digital Desk

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