The Government's decision to "remove" Galway's chance to have a directly elected mayor "once again shows that Galway is an afterthought to those in Dublin," according to the Social Democrat's Owen Hanley.
A plebiscite on whether to have a directly-elected mayor in Galway, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, is to be held on same day as the Local Elections, May 24. However Galway has been removed from the legislation for this plebiscite, although the votes for the other three cities will go ahead as planned.
The Department of Housing and Local Government said a vote for the Mayor of Galway should take place, but it would require new legislation, meaning any vote is still in the future. It is understood that Galway born senator Gerard Craughwell has said the delay for Galway was due to financial reasons.
The Social Democrats' Galway City East candidate Owen Hanley, has criticised the decision, saying it shows a "lack of logic". He added: "The Government had plans to scrap Galway City Council and roll it into the county council. Now it has decided to scrap our chance at reforming the council we have. Galway City Council needs reform, it needs to function better and be more representative, but if the Government blocks the common sense measures it needs how can it ever change?"