Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

New laws to protect whistleblowers

Green Party leader John Gormley said whistleblowers in councils across the country will be protected under new laws

Whistleblowers in councils across the country will be protected under new laws which allow for Dublin's first directly elected mayor.

The legislation will ensure workers who expose wrongdoing in local authorities cannot be punished or threatened with punishment for speaking out.

Green Party leader and environment minister John Gormley said the mayoral election would be the most significant change in Irish local government since the 19th century.

The political office will have enhanced powers in a range of areas including the city's transport and traffic system, waste management, housing and planning.

Mt Gormley said: "The citizens of Dublin will elect a local government leader equipped with a democratic mandate unsurpassed in the history of the city.

"The mayor will be elected to drive improvements and efficiencies in the region's local government, and will champion Dublin, at home and abroad, as a good place to live, work and invest.

"The mayor will also deliver significantly strengthened leadership for the city and region, with enhanced accountability and a direct connection with the citizen, thereby reinvigorating local government."

A spokesman for Mr Gormley said whistleblower protections were being rolled out in all administrative legislation.

It is expected that the mayoral election will be held early next year, although it had been promised for this year.

The office will have 30 staff members, providing administrative support to the mayor and the newly slimmed-down Dublin Regional Authority, whose membership will fall from 30 to 16.

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