Limerick is set for a bright and prosperous future with the passing of the plebiscite for a directly elected mayor.
Speaking today from the Limerick Count Centre, Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne thanked the people of Limerick for backing the Fine Gael proposal.
Senator Byrne said: “The people of Limerick have made the right choice and they will now have a mayor that is directly accountable to the people. They have made the right decision and given a mandate to a leader to create a bright and prosperous Limerick.
“We have seen the transformation of Limerick in recent years in terms of investment and employment – we are leaders on the civic and sporting fields. A directly elected mayor will ensure Limerick’s interests are first and foremost and will help it develop in tandem with Project Ireland 2040.
“As a former Mayor of Limerick city, I argued during the campaign that cities can benefit from strong, visible leadership and the international standing and clout that a mayor, elected with a clear mandate, can bring.
“We have seen directly elected mayors work in other international cities. A mayor can become a vital part in ensuring that a great city has a strong voice and can attract investment from home and abroad. We are now going to have a strong voice in Limerick to create strong city and to drive the region forward.
“I am proud that Fine Gael ran a strong campaign for the yes vote here in Limerick. We had a well-attended public meeting with An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, outlining the reason the Government was putting this proposal before the people.
“We put up 800 posters and dropped 70,000 leaflets across Limerick city and county to raise awareness.
“We engaged with the media to help share information and we also canvassed to ensure we talked to people directly about the proposal.
“I am also delighted that the campaign was also endorsed by private businesses, public figures and academics and I am grateful to them all for speaking out in support of this.
Senator Byrne concluded: “The Government wants Cork, Limerick and Waterford to grow by 50% between now and 2040, at twice the rate of Dublin, bringing about genuine balanced regional development. These are exciting times for Limerick. This plebiscite was all about the future vision of our county and city and the people of Limerick clearly share that vision.
The Minister with responsibility for Local Government, John Paul Phelan said: “This is a revolutionary change. Never before have the public been asked if they want a reform like this, and I am delighted the people of Limerick have said yes.
“The mayor of Limerick is going to be answerable to the people of Limerick and will drive development and growth in the city, county and wider region.”