9 June 2019
By Bryan Smyth
The Green Party in Cork has called for a Citizens’ Assembly on local government reform in Cork. The call follows the narrow rejection of the Government’s proposal for a directly elected mayor in the city.
The party, which had called for a Yes vote to the plebiscite, said the campaign highlighted the demand for reform but the proposal as drafted had been rejected by the electorate. During a speech to the Seanad in April, an Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said that the government intended to hold a citizens’ assembly on local government for Dublin.
Green Party City Cllr for the North East ward and party spokesperson on political reform, Oliver Moran, said the rejection of the proposal in Cork should not be taken as an endorsement for the status quo:
“The campaign has highlighted that there is a deep demand for reform. If the Government are serious about reform of local government then the narrow rejection of this proposal need to be taken as a mandate to go back to the drawing board and deliver something better. Limerick will now have a directly elected mayor. I don’t want Cork to be left behind but clearly the opposition to this proposal cannot be dismissed.”
“Citizens’ assemblies are now a proven commodities in Ireland. The citizens’ assemblies on same-sex marriage, on the Eighth Amendment, and on climate change and have shown they clearly work in both capturing the public mood and making well thought-through proposals.”