LOCAL Fine Gael councillors are meeting this morning to formulate a new mayoral pact which will see the party through to the end of the council term.
Publicly, the party is maintaining that its longest serving councillor Pat Kennedy is on course to become the 816th mayor at Monday’s meeting.
But privately members have been left dismayed that Cllr Kennedy has so far failed to properly address local councillors on thousands of euro of mileage claims he was forced to pay back.
In what could prove to be the closest run election since 2008, the leader of the Labour party at City Hall, Cllr Tom Shortt confirmed contacts had been made with his group, with a view to offering Cllr Gerry McLoughlin the mayoralty.
But sources within Fine Gael have not ruled out the party also doing a deal with the Independent bloc, and Fianna Fail’s sole councillor Kieran O’Hanlon with a view to offering Cllr Kathleen Leddin the mayoralty.
The first citizenship position would then revert to Fine Gael in the final year.
Under the old pact, Cllr Cormac Hurley was in line for the mayoralty in 2013/4, but the former garda is looking to retire early from the council.
“We need to put something together which will last over the next two years. We need stability. But the decision might not be made until next Monday,” a Fine Gael councillor told the Leader.
The party’s leader on the council, Diarmuid Scully said they will make a statement later in the week on their intentions.
“The party looked at the issue. There are a couple of questions, but I am satisfied we will come to a solution on this fairly shortly,” he said.
On Cllr Kennedy, he added: “There is no reason he cannot become next mayor. There are some questions we need answered and there are some things we need to look at, and we will revert back after.”
Councillor Kevin Kiely, who was kicked out of Fine Gael when he stood in last year’s general election, confirmed he would be voting for Cllr Kennedy.
“I am willing to give Cllr Kennedy the benefit of the doubt. It is only a small amount of money, and he has paid it back,” he said.