Two more candidates enter race to become first directly elected mayor in country

Fine Gael and Labour councillors become latest names of list of people hoping to become mayor of Limerick

Two more politicians have entered the race to become the first directly elected mayor in Ireland.

Councillors from Fine Gael and Labour have announced they are running in the June election for mayor of Limerick.

Daniel Butler, a Fine Gael councillor, is seeking his party’s nomination. Taoiseach Simon Harris is due to attend a selection convention in Limerick on Friday evening.

Mr Butler is expected to be selected unopposed unless another Fine Gael candidate enters the race.


He said the new role of directly elected mayor is “a huge opportunity to drive an agenda that puts Limerick first” an he would “fight for everyone in the city and the county” if he is elected.

Former Fine Gael leader, minister and Limerick City TD Michael Noonan endorsed Mr Butler, saying he would “make a fine mayor for all of Limerick”, adding that he has “worked tirelessly” as a councillor since 2014.

Mr Butler was previously the mayor of Limerick between 2021 and 2022, though this was the existing ceremonial role, not the new office which has powers in the areas of finances and planning.

Meanwhile, Labour councillor Conor Sheehan vowed to be the “mayor for homes” if he is elected as he announced he is seeking his party’s nomination.

He said he wants to fight for “a generation of people who are being locked out of the chance to buy or rent affordable housing”.

He said that during the campaign he plans to talk to communities about their housing needs and promised to publish a plan on “how I will deliver a future Limerick where everyone has a safe and secure place to call home”.

The Labour Party selection convention is on April 22nd.

The mayoral election is happening on June 7th, the same day as the local and European elections.

The job comes with a salary of just more than €154,000 and a budget of €8 million a year to be spent on projects and initiatives.

It is the first office of its kind in Ireland and the most significant power the mayor will have is proposing the annual budget for Limerick City and County Council. This will still have to be approved by councillors.

The other declared candidates in the race are:

  • Dee Ryan – Fianna Fáil
  • Brian Leddin TD – Green Party
  • Maurice Quinlivan TD – Sinn Féin
  • Cllr Elisa O’Donovan – Social Democrats
  • Cllr Conor Sheehan – Labour Party
  • Ruairí Fahy – People Before Profit
  • Sarah Beasley – Aontú
  • Dr Laura Keyes – An Rabharta Glas party
  • Gerben Uunk – Party for Animal Welfare
  • John Moran – Independent
  • Helen O’Donnell – Independent

The new mayor will also propose the five-year Local Development Plan and will have access to Cabinet Ministers with a set number of meetings each year.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times