Gormley will close down Lord Mayor's office
THE CEREMONIAL office of Lord Mayor of Dublin will cease to exist after the 2014 local elections, John Gormley has revealed.
The title will be taken over by the capital's new directly elected mayor, who will still live in the Mansion House.
Mr Gormley, the Minister for the Environment, said the legislation establishing the mayoralty will be published "very shortly".
He said he believed "it will be done and dusted before Christmas" and the election will take place "in the new year".
However, the scrapping of the symbolic Lord Mayor post will be a blow to Dublin city councillors, who view it as an important position, as well as a huge honour.
The new mayor will be leader of the Dublin Regional Authority and will have responsibility for setting out regional planning guidelines.
The office will represent the catchment area currently administered by Dublin's four local authorities.
The mayor will be charged with pushing through major reductions in spending across the local authorities.
Mr Gormley is promoting the plan despite grumbles from Fianna Fail backbenchers that it is a waste of money.
Transport Minister Noel Dempsey and Minister for Community Affairs Pat Carey briefed Dublin-based Fianna Fail backbenchers and councillors on the new legislation at a meeting in Leinster House last night.
The proposed budget cuts follow on from the An Bord Snip Eile report, which identified savings of over €500m for local authorities across the country.
Mr Gormley said there would be one elected person accountable for issues such as housing and transport.