The directly elected mayor Dublin would be able to serve up to two five year terms, according to the Citizens' Assembly , Source: Depositphotos

Dublin might get to elect its mayor through a direct vote

Dublin might get to elect its mayor through a direct vote

The current position of Lord Mayor of Dublin is elected by the City Council and is held for a term of one year, with very limited powers

Last weekend, a Citizens’ Assembly in Dublin voted in favour of creating a powerful and directly elected mayor for the city. The office would be directly responsible for 15 branches of local power at first, with others gradually falling under the mayor’s jurisdiction.

Additionally, the Citizens’ Assembly also wants the mayor to be supported by additional institutions like the Vice-Mayor. While Dublin is still far from actually having a directly elected mayor, this motion is an important first step to establishing the position.

Mayors of Ireland

Ireland has a rather unique administrative system compared to the rest of the European Union, as most cities do have the position of Mayor, however, it is largely ceremonial.

In Dublin, which is divided into several administrative areas, each local authority elects a mayor among its councillors for a term of one year. The same goes for the Lord Mayor of Dublin, a role with very limited powers or accountability to the electorate. City Councillors are also generally part-time positions.

This system sits in stark contrast with most of the EU’s administrative organisations on the national levels, where local elections usually cover the position of mayor, as well as some sort of local council, made up of councillors through proportional representations.

In fact, depending on the size of a given municipality and the size of the local council, there are also positions that mirror sort-of ministerial roles, like Councillor for Youth, Public Housing and etc.

In 2019 Ireland did try to introduce directly elected mayors through referenda in Waterford, Limerick and Cork, yet the vote passed only in Limerick. Legislation to accommodate the new role is expected to be ready by the 2023 local election.

The directly elected Mayor of Dublin

The Citizens’ Assembly was made up of 99 Dublin residents and from August to October, they had to hear presentations from experts and after which vote on a number of issues on the topic. The Assembly voted in favour of a directly elected mayor and gave the title a number of direct responsibilities.

They include housing, homelessness, community healthcare, childcare, sports, transport, culture, the environment, economic development, planning, land use and strategic development, tourism, waste management, emergency services, infrastructure and roads, support for the Traveller and Roma communities and the night-time economy.

Members of the assembly also recommended holding a referendum on the new office before establishing the legislative framework, as well as a number of supporting offices. The recommendations of the assembly will now move to the National Assembly of Ireland for further consideration.

Also, the mayor should serve up to two terms of five years duration each and there should be a mechanism to remove the mayor either by councillors or the public. Additionally, the mayor should have the power to raise funds from markets, retain funds from taxes paid in Dublin, and introduce local taxes.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU