What’s it like being Ireland’s youngest Mayor?

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Mayor of South Dublin County Council Fintan Warfield
Mayor of South Dublin County Council Fintan Warfield

These days you might think somebody is a little bit crazy when they tell you they’ve decided to run for election.

However, that didn’t stop Fintan Warfield from putting himself forward. The 22 year old ran for a seat on South Dublin County Council, won the seat as a Sinn Féin Councillor and is now the youngest council Mayor in the country.

So why did he decide to put himself in the firing line and run in May’s local elections?

For him it’s because “politics should represent the people and our political system isn’t representative of Irish people at all.”

Despite his decision to run, Fintan says he never expected to actually be successful and take a seat. He puts the victory down to the hard work that he and his team put in, but he admits that they “didn’t know what it took to win”.

Despite that pessimism, he’s now the youngest Mayor in the country and he’s proud to be a member of the LGBT community.

Almost six months into office, you can’t say he hasn’t been working hard – youth unemployment, gay rights and homelessness are all areas he feels need work.

He’s taken a 10 percent pay cut and is donating the difference to three local charities, Saoirse Women’s Refuge in Tallaght, BeLonGTo, a national organisation for LGBT young people and Citywise who provide educational support for young people in Jobstown.

He’s also ensured that South Dublin County Council has become the first public service to join GLEN, the gay and lesbian equality network.

One of his first actions as Mayor was the raising of the rainbow flag outside the County Buildings.

“It only takes a poster in school to know there’s somebody who’s approachable and that you can talk to”, he says.

So, will we see his face on posters around the city before the next general election?

The short answer is no. “The Council does a lot of worthwhile work and I’m happy to be a part of it”, he says.

 

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