[Sinn Fein]

7th July 2003

Sinn Fein councillors call for end to Fianna Fáil/Labour's abuse of Mayoral role

Dublin Sinn Fein councillors will tonight be voting for Independent Cllr. Vincent Jackson to take on the role of new Mayor for Dublin. The councillors will be voting in opposition to Fianna Fáil's plan to have Royston Brady elected Mayor. Fianna Fáil and Labour have operated a system for the last number of years, which sees one of their councillors elected on a rota system each year. Cllr. Christy Burke, Sinn Fein's group leader in City Hall, said that the system was a complete joke and that until legislation was introduced to have a directly elected Mayor for Dublin, the role would only ever be symbolic.

He said:

``Larry O'Toole, Nicky Kehoe, Dessie Ellis and myself will be supporting Independent Cllr. Vincent Jackson from Ballyfermot at tonight's election for a new Mayor for Dublin. I'm using the term election in the loosest sense, because we all know that the Mayor has already been chosen by Fianna Fáil and Labour.

``The Local government reform legislation which was recently introduced should have included a clause for a directly elected Mayor, but it was pulled at the last minute because it did not suit Fianna Fáil. The current system is an insult to the people of Dublin and a complete joke.

``The present Mayor, Dermot Lacey (Labour), and the next one, Royston Brady (Fianna Fáil) have both had the cheek to call for direct elections, but neither have seem concerned enough to turn down the position given to them without being earned.

``We are calling on all those opposed to this current system to vote for Cllr. Jackson tonight and we are saying that until Dublin has direct elections, the role of Mayor is never going to be anything more than symbolic. We are also calling for Labour and Fianna Fáil to get their priorities right and stop abusing their position of power. ENDS

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