Limerick and Dublin appoint new Lord Mayors amidst war of words in the Treaty County

The new Mayor of Limerick is Fine Gael Cllr Stephen Keary whilst in Dublin Micheál Mac Donncha of Sinn Féin will wear the Mayoral chains.

Mr MacDonncha was voted in by an alliance of Sinn Féin, Labour, Independents and Green Party councillors on Dublin City Council.

The election in Limerick did not pass without incident or comment, however.

The newly elected Mayor was described as a “Donald Farage” type mayor by one of his council colleagues, despite apologising for having earlier claimed non-nationals were scrounging off the State, and making worse the country’s hospital trolley and social housing waiting lists crisis.

Despite, at times feverish criticism of the new Mayor, as well as an online petition, containing over 2,000 signatures, which had sought Cllr Stephen Keary’s withdrawal from the mayoral contest, the Galway native romped home.

Cllr Stephen Keary

Keary, who apologised “for any offence” caused, was elected with 27 votes in front of Sinn Fein’s John Costelloe (8 votes) and Solidarity candidate Paul Keller (2 votes).

Fine Gael councillor Marian Hurley was elected Deputy Mayor.

It emerged during the election contest that Mayor Keary had previously emigrated to America, and returned home to work in Galway and Clare, before settling in his adopted home in West Limerick.

In seeking forgiveness from the migrant community, Keary promised them he would be “a mayor for all of the people” of Limerick.

In a stinging criticism of Keary’s appointment Sinn Fein’s Séighin Ó’Ceallaigh said Mayor Keary’s comments only served to underpin “undertones of racism in society”

Describing Keary’s remarks as “disgraceful”, Cllr O’Ceallaigh said he wondered what the Fine Gael leader, “the son of an emigrant … thinks about (Keary’s) remarks”.

Calling for “all forms of racism to be condemned, he added: “We’ve complained in this chamber many times about Donald Trump and Nigel Farage’s (policies); well now look at us … we might as well have a mayor known as Donald Farage.”

Reporting: Digital desk and David Raleigh

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