A NEW Lord Mayor of Dublin will be elected by city councillors on Monday.
Fine Gael's Naoise O'Muiri is the favourite for the post, taking over from Andrew Montague. Mr O'Muiri, a qualified engineer, is the agreed candidate of his party and will also receive the backing of Labour as part of a long-standing pact.
But Dermot Lacey, who has been elected Labour group leader on the city council, believes this year could be the penultimate occasion that councillors choose the mayor.
He hopes Environment Minister Phil Hogan will decide to bring in legislation allowing for a directly elected mayor from 2014.
Mr Hogan intends to reform the local government system and the option of directly elected mayors is being considered.
While others think the plan is a non-runner at the moment, Mr Lacey said he is hopeful it will be introduced.
Mr O'Muiri, who lives on Griffith Avenue in Dublin 9 with his wife, Fionnuala, and young family, will be the city's 343rd Lord Mayor and the third Lord Mayor from the city's Clontarf ward in recent years.
As part of the job, the councillor and his family move into the Mansion House on Dawson Street for a year. A chauffeur-driven Mercedes is provided for the office holder. The top-of-the-range E Class is supplied free by MSL Motors in Ballsbridge every year.
The costs associated with the position have come under the spotlight recently, with revelations that the overall bill comes to €825,500 a year.
The team of cleaners at the Mansion House costs in the region of €41,800, while hundreds more is spent on external cleaning services.
Some €106,200 is spent on the mayor's drivers, while a further €33,800 is ring-fenced for other expenses such as mobile phone bills, petrol and stationery.
The mayor also receives €60,000 as his annual allowance.
More than €304,500 is spent on the upkeep and running of the Mansion House.
Figures released for Man-chester last year show that the cost to the city of its Lord Mayor's office was only £900,000 (€1,115,000) over five years.
The current Deputy Lord Mayor, Maria Parodi (Labour), is to be replaced by Fine Gael's Clare Byrne, the daughter of Dublin South Central TD Catherine Byrne.