Councillor Claire Byrne has expressed her "gratitude" to be chosen as the Green Party's candidate for the upcoming Dublin Bay South by-election.
The South-East Inner City representative won a selection convention last night and was chosen by party members ahead of Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu.
The party said it was “proud to have had two exceptional women put themselves forward to represent the people of Dublin.”
Councillor Byrne has served as a Green Party Councillor since 2014 – receiving the highest number of first-preference votes in her constituency in the 2019 local elections.
Lord Mayor Chu congratulated her colleague on her selection and thanked those who voted for her, adding: "There will most certainly be a next time."
Speaking to Seán Defoe on Newstalk Breakfast Weekends, Councillor Byrne said she was delighted to have been chosen.
"It was a surprise, but a very welcome surprise, and I'm very grateful to the members for putting their faith in me and selecting me to be the candidate, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the campaign now," she said.
She added that she hadn't had a chance to speak with Hazel Chu yet but called her a "phenomenal Lord Mayor" and hopes she will support the campaign trail.
Thrilled to have been selected by @DBSGreens to be the @greenparty_ie candidate in the #DBSbyelection. So grateful to the members for putting their faith in me. Huge thanks to my amazing colleague Lord Mayor @hazechu for a great contest. Can't wait to get on the campaign trail. pic.twitter.com/ym3UeczjEt
— Cllr Claire Byrne (@CByrneGreen) June 4, 2021
"This was a fair contest as it always is within the Green Party, all our processes are always very democratic," Councillor Byrne said.
"I think we have a shot of winning it, it's going to be an interesting by-election, there's no doubt about it, there's going to be very strong competition.
"But I've been a Councillor in the area since 2014, I represented Pembroke from 2014 to 2019 and the South-East Inner City since, so I'm well known on the ground, I've been working hard locally for many years.
"I'm no stranger to the people of Dublin Bay South and I'm very familiar through my own work with the issues that affect people.
"I also think the Green Party are doing very well in Government, I think people recognise that, and I feel we have a very good chance in this by-election."
Councillor Byrne said that housing is likely to be the defining issue for voters in the by-election.
"Obviously housing will be a very big issue, as it is across the country at the moment, but particularly for Dublin Bay South, its a very mixed profile with a range of housing issues, obviously people needing homes but we have a very high percentage of renters, so we need to make sure we're legislating to look after them," she explained.
"We need to build more homes, and recent legislation going to the Dáil around the Affordable Housing Bill means that we will have a mechanism to deliver the 900 social and affordable homes in Poolbeg West, for example, where we haven't had a legislative framework to do so and we'll have one now.
"Then there's also the issue of the quality of our existing housing stock and our National Retrofit Programme will go a long way to improving people's standard of living and their quality of life and I want to make sure that's rolled out now just for our houses but for our flat complexes as well."