'I am overwhelmed and humbled': Hazel Chu elected Mayor of Dublin City

29/06/2020 - 07:26

By Aoife Moore
Hazel Chu has been elected to Mayor of Dublin City.

The Green Party chairperson and qualified barrister was first elected to the council in the May elections in 2019 after topping the poll for the Pembroke ward and will be the city's ninth ever female mayor.

Fellow Green councillor Micheal Pidgeon who nominated Ms Chu said: "Having Hazel as mayor would be historic in many ways, in a Dublin which is changing, as a woman, and the first person of colour to hold the post - a symbol of Dublin and Ireland's past and it's future.

"Hazel's election would send a progressive message to some who clearly need to hear it, but we're not nominating her because of symbolism, but who she is, and what she can do."

After her win she said she "felt slightly nauseous".

"I am overwhelmed and humbled because my presence in this seat would not be likely in the past," she said.

"My mother was raised in a small village in Hong Kong, her family was not well off, she would sell flowers to put food on the table.

"My grandmother could not read, but had a dream for her daughter and let her travel to Ireland, my mother worked night and day washing dishes in a restaurant dreaming of a better life for her daughter.

"I wonder if she ever dreamt her daughter would sit here as the ninth ever female mayor of Dublin?

"Each councillor is elected to represent their voters the best they can, but we're all here to do our job.

"As first citizen I would like to see us united in common purpose, to tackle homelessness, and make Dublin a more liveable city."

Ms Chu said the city was "changing overnight" and she intends to look into the promoting walking and cycling, and better air quality.

"In recent years we have seen polarisation in politics overseas, Ireland is not immune," she added.

"Many in this chamber fought against those who would seek to divide us on race and gender,

"I have been on the receiving end, and the first steps are to acknowledge and challenge.

"There is no such thing as an innocent bystander.

"As first citizen, I would like to have open and frank conversations on racism and gender equality.

"My dream is my daughter will celebrate her diversity instead of being afraid by it.

"I have never been prouder to be an Irish woman as I stand here as the first citizen."

The Greens, along with Labour, Soc Dems, and Fianna Fáil are in a voting pact known as the Dublin Agreement.

The agreement was drafted by the four parties in Dublin City Council’s “ruling group”: Fianna Fáil (the majority party), the Green Party, the Labour Party, and the Social Democrats, who hold 34 of the 63 seats in the chamber, and work together on a number of agreed policies. Ms Chu will take on the role from Fianna Fáil's James Brabazon.

Fine Gael nominated councillor Anne Feeney, who was beaten 43-9 by Ms Chu, who was also backed by some independents and members of Sinn Féin.

Ms Chu is married to Green Party TD Patrick Costello, and became the first Irish-born person of Chinese descent to be elected to political office in the state.

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