The new Dublin City Council met for the first time on the evening of Friday 6th June, exactly 14 days after the local election. There is an increase in councillors this time around, 63 instead of 52. This is as a result of an amendment in Local Government legislation.
No one party has an outright majority in the council. There are 16 Sinn Fein Councillors, 13 Independent Councillors, 9 Fianna Fáil, 8 Labour, 8 Fine Gael, 5 People Before Profit , 3 Green Party and 1 Anti-Austerity Alliance. It could be argued that we are an interesting mix!
The main business conducted at Friday’s meeting was the election of the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor. Cllr. Christy Burke, Independent was unanimously elected the 345th Lord Mayor of Dublin City. Christy is one of the longest serving Councillors on Dublin City Council and represents the North Inner City. He indicated upon his election that, as Lord Mayor, his priorities for the coming year would be housing, homelessness, illegal dumping in the city and the speeding up of support (adaptation grants) for disabled persons. I don’t think there is one Councillor that would disagree that these issues need our prioritising!
Cllr. Larry O’Toole, SinnFein, was elected Deputy Lord Mayor. Larry represents my own local area of Beaumont/Donaghmede. As a former teacher in Larry’s home community of Darndale I’ve seen how his strength and determination have contributed in no small way to the transformation of that community. His immense passion and political skills will help our Council successfully navigate the various challenges and opportunities that it will no doubt encounter.
I wish both Councillors the very best in their new roles. I look forward to working with both of them and in particular with Larry on our local North Central Area Committee.