SINN Fein and the Labour Party have struck a 'secret' deal to ensure both parties control the top jobs in Dublin City Council.
The parties have agreed a document entitled The Dublin City Alliance, which outlines a number of joint policy areas involving issues such as rates and the property tax.
But significantly, the deal ensures both parties have virtually full control over the positions of mayorship until 2019.
A copy of the deal, which has been seen by this newspaper, details the series of top jobs agreed by councillors in Sinn and Labour over the course of this term.
The deal has not been publicised by either party and has caused concern among other members of Dublin City Council.
While the alliance predominantly benefits Sinn Fein and Labour, it also has a loose involvement from some independents and the Green Party.
According to the document, Sinn Fein is to be given the position of Lord Mayor next year and again in 2018, before taking over the position of deputy mayor in 2019. It is expected that the party's Cllr Criona Ni Dhalaigh will be elected Lord Mayor tonight, taking over from outgoing councillor Christy Burke.
Labour will hold both the mayor and deputy position in 2017 and will hold on to the deputy position the following year.
Gerry Adams' party is to hold on to the key position of housing committee chairperson for the duration of the council's term and will also hold the post of chairperson of the local community development committee. Labour agreed to a deal that will see the party chair planning and international affairs, while sharing Arts, Culture and Youth Affairs with the independents.
Outgoing Sinn Fein deputy mayor Larry O'Toole last night defended the deal, saying the party had previously attempted to ensure it was "inclusive of all groups".
"When we started talking we wanted all parties and all jobs shared. But Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and others wouldn't go with it," he added.
Details of the deal have emerged after independent councillor Mannix Flynn strongly objected to Sinn Fein taking over the position of Lord Mayor due to the controversy surrounding the IRA sex abuse allegations.