Labour councillor Alison Gilliland is expected to be elected the 353rd Lord Mayor of Dublin on Monday night, becoming only the 10th woman to hold the office.
The Irish Times reports that Cllr Gilliland, who chairs Dublin City Council’s housing strategic policy committee, is set to take over from the Green Party’s Hazel Chu.
Originally from Ballybay, Co Monaghan, Cllr Gilliland has been a member of the Labour Party since 2009 and was elected to the council in 2014. A former primary school teacher, she has been actively involved in the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation and ran for general secretary of the union in 2018, coming second to John Boyle.
Speaking ahead of the councillors’ vote on Monday, she said her overarching priority for the year would be helping the city to transition out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m very conscious of the needs of our community as we transition out of Covid and the importance of the recovery of the city centre. I will be looking at the good things we have done during Covid, the pedestrianisation schemes, the outdoor amenities, and how we can keep and improve on these.”
As outgoing chair of the housing committee, housing would remain a priority for her, she said.
“I am committed to public housing on public land, which means not just social housing, but affordable housing for those who are outside the threshold for social housing but cannot afford market rents.”
She would also have a focus on gender issues, she said. “It is appalling that I am only the 10th female Lord Mayor. I do think we need to be more conscious of the female lens when we are planning for our city, particularly we need to take action to make Dublin a safer city for women.”