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New Lord Mayor of Dublin Elected


New Lord Mayor of Dublin Elected

Sinn Féin Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh has been elected to serve as the new Lord Mayor of Dublin. Fifty-nine members of the city council voted, 41 votes went to Ní Dhálaigh, nine went to Jim O’Callaghan and Mannix Flynn received eight votes. There was one abstention. Críona will take over the reins from previous Lord Mayor Christy Burke as the eighth woman to serve as Lord Mayor.

Councillor Críona was elected on Monday night at City Hall and has commenced her one year term as Dublin’s 346th Lord Mayor. The Mansion House in Dawson Street will be her official residence for the next year. The Mansion House has been in the news of late while it is celebrating its 300th Commemoration Celebrations.

As Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Críona will get the first car registration number in Dublin in the New Year and will be attending all the most important public events held in the City with the President of Ireland as well as chairing meetings for the City Council.

On Monday, she said after her election, speaking as new Lord Mayor: “It is with great pride that I take up the office of Ard Mhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath. I am especially proud to be the first Sinn Féin Mayor for Dublin and I am very grateful for the support that made this possible. I know that for some it was a bit of a leap of faith and I acknowledge that. I am conscious that this position is a responsibility, not a privilege, and that it is my role to serve the people of this city, and my fellow councillors, in an open, honest and transparent manner. During the coming year I also hope to encourage and integrate the use of the Irish language in daily Dublin life, to make our first language more visible and prominent in our first city.”

Críona Ní Dhálaigh who lives in Ballyfermot and was born and raised in Dublin, first joined the City Council in 2006 to represent the Crumlin-Kimmage Ward of the South Central City Electoral Area. Known for her strong belief in fighting social disadvantaged particularly with regards the renewal of housing, fighting homelessness in the city and community development, Ms Dhálaigh is looking forward to the new position.

The new Lord Mayor continued saying: “The Proclamation of the Irish Republic speaks to us today more urgently than ever. The Proclamation’s commitment to “equal rights and equal opportunities” for all our people has yet to be fulfilled. We do not yet live in an equal city, or an equal country. I would like our new motto as a city to be Cathair Chomhionannais – City of Equality. In line with this sentiment, my priority for the year to come will be those families who have been waiting years for housing, but also those who, once they get a house, find it is not a home, but a battleground, a place where they must fight every day for basic living conditions.”

Críona’s resumé would suggest someone who will put the rising drug problem in city as among her top priorities she is both a member of the South Inner City Local Drugs Task Force and a board member of the Donore Community Drug Team. Críona, a Gaelgeoir (Irish Speaker), is also likely to put strong emphasis of the resurrection of the language, as she has been a spokesperson for its preservation for nearly a decade.

“During the coming year I also hope to encourage and integrate the use of the Irish language in daily Dublin life, to make our first language more visible and prominent in our first city.”

Though all were not happy with the result Fianna Fáil councillor Jim O’Callaghan stated he only put his name forward for fear of having a Sinn Fein counsellor “Hijack” the 1916 centenary celebrations next year.  However, this fear was not reflected in the votes and in the end that is what counts.

All party politics aside, I would like to wish best of luck to our new Lord Mayor!

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