Imagine you could vote for TDs, just the same as now – but that no matter who won the election, the Taoiseach and all the Government Ministers were always just career civil servants, not answerable to any voters.

It sounds ridiculous, but that’s essentially the situation in our councils right now. Councillors can set policies – but the people who carry out the policies, well-intentioned though they might be, are never answerable to you as a voter.

We have the opportunity to change that on May 24th. Along with the local and European elections, we will have the chance to vote on whether Limerick City and County Council should have a Mayor directly elected by all of us. A Mayor who will not be just the rotating figurehead the position is today, but a Mayor with real executive power. A Mayor we all elect – and a Mayor we can all vote against if we don’t think they’re doing the job right.

This isn’t just a vote to create another paid political position. In fact, it would combine the current Mayor and Chief Executive jobs. This is a vote to give all of us a vote on who gets to do that job. A vote to give power over that position back to all of us.

I strongly believe that decision makers should always be accountable at the ballot box. So I’m asking you to vote Yes on May 24th, to give all of us the power to hold our Mayor to account.