Dublin Elects Sinn Féin Mayor
By R. Bryan Willits, Editorial Assistant
August / September 2015
In June, Críona Ní Dhálaigh was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin, making her the first Sinn Féin Lord Mayor in history to take office. In 1920, Tom Kelly was elected to the position as a Sinn Féin candidate, but was unable to assume the role at that time, as he was kept by the British in a London prison under charges relating to the 1916 Easter Rising.
Speaking at Dublin City Hall on the night of her election, Ní Dhálaigh said: “It is with great pride that tonight I take up the office of Ard Mhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath. I am especially proud to be the first Sinn Féin mayor for Dublin.”
Ní Dhálaigh will be Lord Mayor during the city’s 1916 commemorations. After Sinn Féin became the biggest party on the city council last year, they reached a voting deal with Labour, the Green Party, and most of the Independents. It was agreed that a Sinn Féin councilor would be elected as Lord Mayor for the term coinciding with the centenary of the Rising.
Ní Dhálaigh was opposed by Independent Mannix Flynn, who was nominated by Fine Gael, and by Jim O’Callaghan of Fianna Fáil. O’Callaghan explained that his opposition came partly out of fear that Sinn Féin would “hijack” the 1916 commemoration in order to “justify the 30 year pointless and counterproductive campaign by the provisional IRA.”
After her election, Ní Dhálaigh also reaffirmed her commitments to working towards building a more just and equitable city and claimed in her speech at Dublin City Hall: “The Proclamation’s commitment to ‘equal rights and equal opportunities’ for all our people has yet to be fulfilled. We do not yet live in an equal city or an equal country.” Ní Dhálaigh is a long-standing champion of fair housing policies and is committed to fighting for workers’ rights. ♦