Imagine if Dublin had a directly elected mayor with real powers to get things done. It might happen in the future, if Dubliners vote for it.

Local Government Minister Simon Coveney, of Fine Gael, has said he supports the idea, according to the Irish Times. A poll commissioned by Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys, three-fourths of Dubliners want a directly elected mayor.

Fianna Fáil’s John Lahart TD won party approval for a bill to make it happen, which he introduced late last month. The Green Party’s Eamon Ryan TD introduced another bill this month.

So if we had a mayor for the Dublin region who was elected by – and accountable to – the people, and had executive powers, what would they be, what would they do?

Dublin Inquirer invited five Dubliners to Mansion House last Wednesday (2 November) to present and defend their visions for the role in a debate moderated by Jim Carroll of the Banter series.

The event lasted about an hour and a half. The version above is edited down to a length we hope you might actually have the time to watch.

Introduced by Dublin Inquirer Managing Editor Lois Kapila, the five mayoral “candidates” – none of whom have any intention of running for mayor as far as we know – were (seated from left to right):

–Jessica Traynor, poet, writer, dramaturg, author of Liffey Swim, and literary manager at the Abbey Theatre;

–Richard Guiney, CEO of the city-centre business improvement district DublinTown;

–George Boyle, architect, founder of the Fumbally Exchange and the Heart of the Liberties Project, and president of the Institute of Designers in Ireland;

Nana Nubi, founder of a youth-empowerment initiative, The Alpha Project; and

–Chinedu Onyejelem, who since 2000 has been editing the Dublin-based multicultural newspaper Metro Éireann, which he co-founded.

After the debate, the audience of about three dozen people voted for their favourite candidates, and Guiney won the most votes.

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Simon Auffret and Others: Simon Auffret is a journalism student at IUT Lannion who has also studied at Dublin Institute of Technology. He loves data and maps, and ideas for Dublin data and maps. So send them his way: [email protected]

Reader responses

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steve white
at 9 November 2016 at 17:35

did you have anyone there who doesn’t want directly elected Mayor?

Lois Kapila
at 9 November 2016 at 17:59

@steve white: Hey Steve, it wasn’t a debate about whether or not there should be a directly elected mayor. It was a debate imagining a situation where Dublin has a directly elected mayor, and giving some “candidates” the chance to pitch what they would do to tackle some of the city’s challenges, if that happened. So no, that would have been a different event.

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