Galway plebiscite on elected Mayor delayed by two years

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The government has announced that a plebiscite in Galway to decide if the people want a directly elected Mayor will not take place until 2021.

The vote in Galway has been pushed back by two years to take place after the upcoming merger of the city and county councils.

It was previously announced that Galway would vote with Cork, Limerick, and Waterford next May whether they would like a directly elected Mayor with executive powers.

The plebiscites in the other three cities will proceed as planned next year.

A similar question about having such a Mayor for Dublin will be put to a Citizens’ Assembly next year.

The plebiscite will ask residents of Galway if they wish to replace out current, symbolic role of Mayor with an elected office with much expanded powers.

Making the announcement last week Minister of State for Local Government John Phelan suggested that the Mayor could hold many of the powers that currently reside with the Chief Executive.

The current Mayor of Galway, Niall McNelis, holds a ceremonial position but otherwise has no more power than any other city councillor.

Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton and Green Party candidate for Galway Eamon Ryan have both expressed their support for the idea.

It was one of several measures to further local government outlined by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in a package to extend the supply and confidence agreement with Fianna Fáil.