Fingal County Council recently voted against the holding of a plebiscite for the possibility of a directly elected mayor for Dublin and campaigners who have been fighting for such a referendum (ie, let’s vote to see if we want one, and then vote for one) were roundly furious with them. The reason for that is that Phil Hogan, a politician who is on the list of politicians I’m glad I never have to make a decision about, told them that they could have a referendum only if all of the councils agreed. Fingal was the only council to reject a motion to have said referendum.
The city of Dublin has a lord mayor, and the council and various incumbants could probably do a lot more with the role than they do already.
I have problems with this campaign. If you read the twitter feed for the campaign, it very much operates on the city being the focus of any mayoralty. The city needs a voice for this, the city needs a voice for that. The twitter feed for the campaign is here.
The problem is that Dublin isn’t just the city. It is the county as well, and when you see a city focussed campaign being run, and you’re expected to take on board this mayor that the campaign wants for Dublin, then if you’re in Fingal, which the largest population of the three non-city municipal localities (Census, 2011, via CSO), you’re probably right to be very concerned that this person will get elected, but not really care that much about the non-city areas.
This is the tweet that caught my attention this morning:
@fmacconghail Emotive debate on homelessness is missing a voice for the city, on behalf of the city- a touchstone for Dublin.
If you look at some of the comments by some of the people that this account retweets (the account is letdublinvote by the way), it’s not something I can get around:
When you look at it in that context, it’s perfectly understandable that Fingal authorities would want nothing to do with this.
I live in the Dublin city area at the moment. I have also lived in the Fingal County area as well. I honestly don’t believe that a mayor directly elected would be able to serve the interests of both areas to the best benefit for both areas, not when so much of the support for a direct mayor focuses on the benefits to the city.
Dublin is much more than a city. Campaigns like this seem to forget this when they focus so much on the city.