Four Chief Executives of Dublin Councils outline their role, scope of work, and local government financing
Dublin Assembly to meet again in two weeks’ time to hear from elected mayors in other European cities
Sunday 01 May 2022 – The Dublin Citizens’ Assembly concluded its inaugural meeting this afternoon, following two-days of discussion, information, and exchanges between members of the Assembly and a range of speakers on issues relating to local government structures in and a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin.
The Assembly convened at The Grand Hotel Malahide under the Chairmanship of Jim Gavin and comprised 67 randomly selected citizens of Dublin City and County and 12 elected councilors nominated to participate.
This morning’s meeting included a panel discussion and question and answer section with the four Chief Executives of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, Dun-Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Frank Curran, Fingal County Council, Anne Marie Farrelly, and South Dublin County Council, Danny McLoughlin.
At that session the four Chief Executives welcomed the work of the Dublin Assembly and encouraged such an informed and considered approach to proposed local government reform. They also outlined the integration and cooperation that takes place between the four local authorities in terms of service delivery and adopting a wider Dublin-focused approach to their work to ensure consistency in terms of the economic and social development of the city and county.
Prior to today’s session, Saturday’s meeting heard from a range of speakers including author Roddy Doyle and academics Dr Ruth McManus and Professor Deiric Ó Broin from Dublin City University, Dr Bríd Quinn from University of Limerick, and Dr Aodh Quinlivan from University College Cork, who spoke about Dublin’s history, its current governance structures, key local government services, and finance.
Speaking about the inaugural meeting, the Chair of the Dublin Assembly, Jim Gavin, said “This weekend’s inaugural meeting of the Dublin Citizens’ Assembly was an extremely productive session with members gaining a real and extensive understanding of the history and work of local government and the scale of the over 1,000 services that our four Dublin councils each provide. I would like to thank all members for their constructive and positive engagement.
“From hearing about the number of staff that are employed by our councils, the vital services that they provide from local parks and cultural spaces to emergency services such as fire brigades and homeless services, and their role in housing provision, our councils play an extremely important role in our lives – sometimes without us really appreciating it.
“These discussions are crucial for informing our work ahead. Similarly, to get the broadest possible range of perspectives we also need members of the public to engage with our work. I would therefore encourage people to submit their views to us through our website, our social media channels, or by physically sending us their submissions. This will help us come-up with recommendations that will help make Dublin the best possible place to live, work and raise a family.”
The Assembly will meet again in three weeks’ time at The Grand Hotel in Malahide to focus on the international experience of having a directly elected mayor, with a number of sitting and former mayors of European cities equivalent in size and scale invited to Dublin due to attend and address the members.
The Assembly will continue to hold a series of meetings over the coming months and is due to conclude its work later this year before sending its recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas. Members of the public can make submissions to the Citizens’ Assembly on a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin via www.citizensassembly.ie.
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