The citizens of Limerick could be voting for their own Mayor later this year after the Cabinet today approved a bill to establish the office, the directly elected Mayors functions and governance structures.

Any election will be subject to the public health situation in the autumn and winter.

The bill sets out an electoral code to hold mayoral elections in Limerick and provides for the holding of plebiscites on the issue in other jurisdictions in 2024 if desired.

Limerick voted in May 2019 in favour of electing its own Mayor. The same proposal was rejected by voters in Cork and Waterford.

Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke said the approval to begin drafting the legislation necessary to establish the office of the directly elected Mayor in Limerick and to hold a mayoral election in Limerick later this year, brings the people of Limerick another step closer in this process.

It includes a number of other new functions advised by an implementation body set up after the plebiscite which consulted widely with the public.

"I welcome the fact that Government also approved my proposals to include a number of specific new functions and responsibilities in the legislation, including provisions requiring the mayor to lead a local board to advance the implementation of Project Ireland 2040 in the Limerick city region and convene a rural board to examine all aspects of rural life in Limerick, as well as permitting the mayor to convene stakeholders on matters affecting Limerick. Provisions setting out a detailed mechanism for the removal of the mayor are also included," the Minister said.

Minister Burke said "consultations between Departments should continue to consider the assignment of further responsibilities and functions to the mayor of Limerick, including greater financial autonomy, as were identified in the advisory groups report".