Irish Local Government


There are 31 local authorities in Ireland, providing a range of services delivering a broad range of services in relation to roads; traffic; planning; housing; economic and community development; environment, recreation and amenity services; fire services and maintaining the register of electors. 

Apart from the local authorities in the counties of Dun Laoghaire, Fingal and South Dublin and the cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway, all counties and cities and counties have been divided into municipal districts with councillors representing simultaneously the municipal district and the local authority. In total, there are 95 municipal districts in the country.

There are 949 councillors in the country, with council membership in local authorities ranging from 18 to 63. The elected council is the policy making forum of the local authority; the municipal district members act as a decision-making sub-formation of the overall council in respect of their municipal district area. Elected councils (operating at local authority or municipal district level) exercise ‘reserved functions’ defined in law across a range of legislation. The day-to-day management of a local authority is carried out by the executive, i.e. the full-time officials led by the chief executive. The chief executive has a duty to advise and assist the elected council in the exercise of their functions.