GREEN Party Councillor Hazel Chu is the new Lord Mayor of Dublin.
The mother-of-one – the first Green Party Lord Mayor since John Gormley in 1994 – has vowed to fight for the homeless during her year in office.
She said she was “overwhelmed and humbled” and vowed to tackle discrimination, adding it was not enough “not to be racist, we have to be anti-racist”.
She added: “One of my main priorities as the new Lord Mayor will be to promote Dublin as a vibrant, inclusive city that embraces diversity at all levels of society.
“It is well documented over the past two decades that modern Ireland is now more diverse than ever.”
Hazel Chu was born and raised in Firhouse, one of seven children born to parents from Hong Kong. She now lives in Ranelagh with her partner Patrick and their two-year-old daughter Alex.
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Dublin city councillors voted in the new Lord Mayor at a meeting on Monday, defeating Fine Gael’s Anne Feeney by 43 votes to 9.
She is the 352nd person to take on the job, and the ninth woman to do so.
Ms Chu, who has suffered racial abuse online, said she would like to promote discussions about race and gender during her tenure.
She said: “Dublin is a beautiful city full of culture with a wonderful mixture of accents, languages, and backgrounds. However, we have a lot of work to do to ensure these voices are represented at national level.”
She pointed out that just 22.5% of Dail seats and only four of 15 senior Cabinet positions are women, adding: “I want to encourage more women to put themselves forward for politics and positions of leadership so that we can build a stronger, more reflective society which benefits us all.”
Perks of the Lord Mayor’s job include living at the Mansion House and getting the first car registration in Dublin at the beginning of the year.
She will also be presented with an official mayoral bicycle from the Dublin Cycling Campaign.