Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council
Comhairle Cathrach
Bhaile Átha Cliath
Coat of arms or logo
Seats 63
Current party standings
Political groups

Council Control (38)

Council Opposition (25)

Last election
23 May 2014
Meeting place
City Hall, Dublin

Dublin City Council (Irish: Comhairle Cathrach Bhaile Átha Cliath) is the authority responsible for local government in the city of Dublin in Ireland. As a city council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. Until 2001, the council was known as "Dublin Corporation". The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture and environment. The council has 63 elected members and is the largest local council in Ireland. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the honorific title of Lord Mayor. The city administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Owen Keegan. The council meets at City Hall, Dublin.

Legal status

As part of the Dublin Region, Dublin City Council is within the geographic remit of the Dublin Regional Authority. Following the enactment of the Local Government Act 2001, the Regional Authority was established.[1] It is one of eight such Authorities in the Republic of Ireland. Local government in the region was further regulated by the Local Government Act 1994. This provided for the legal establishment of the following local government administrative areas: Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown and also recognised the extant Dublin Corporation area, vesting its powers in a renamed entity – Dublin City Council. The statutory instrument giving effect to the Act came into force on 1 January 1994.[2] The instrument also provided for the abolition of Dublin County Council – the entity that had previously had responsibility for Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. The four entities collectively comprise the former entity known as County Dublin. This entity, which had been created after the Norman invasion of Ireland, was abolished under the Acts.

Statutory functions

The functions of the City Council include: Public Housing, Library Services, Refuse Services, Drainage, Driver and Vehicle Licensing, Planning and Roads. The Council budgeted to spend €847,137,522 during 2007 in service of these functions. 50.5% of this went towards the payroll of the Council's staff which was a reduction from 50.7% in 2006. In the case of Traffic Management, the Council receives grants from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and also the National Roads Authority to assist it in meeting this responsibility. The 2007 roads budget was just over €105,000,000, to support maintenance of all roads in its functional area.


The area governed by the council

Prior to 1841, the administrative and governmental system of Dublin, known as Dublin Corporation, was bicameral having an assembly of called the "House of Aldermen" and another called the "House of Sheriffs and Commons". Under the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840, they were replaced by a unicameral assembly. The new name Dublin City Council was coined for the unicameral assembly. The Lord Mayor of Dublin presided over the assembly. This office which had existed since 1665. The first City Council was elected in October 1841 when Daniel O'Connell became the first Lord Mayor. Since 1 January 2002, the functions of local government have been transferred to Dublin City Council.[3] In 1994, Dublin County Council and the Corporation of Dún Laoghaire were abolished[4] but this had no impact on the city council. To coincide with its name change, the City Council adopted a new logo and brand identity, based on a simplified version of the ancient "three castles" symbol.


Executive power is shared between the council and an appointed executive official known as the Chief Executive. The chief executive is responsible for a staff of 6,200. The offices of the chief executive and other administrative staff are based in the Civic Offices on Wood Quay. The Lord Mayor of Dublin acts as chair of the Council is the ceremonial head of the city government.

Representative power is vested in the city assembly which consists of 63 members. Members are elected using Proportional representation using the Single transferable vote, every five years from Dublin City Council local electoral areas. The City Council meets in plenary session on the first Monday of every month in Dublin City Hall. One of the Council's most important roles is that of passing an annual budget. Should any Irish council fail to pass a budget within the allotted time, the Minister for the Environment is empowered to abolish it and grant its powers to a commissioner until the next scheduled council elections.


The Mansion House.
Official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The council has 63 seats. For the purpose of elections the city is divided into nine local electoral areas (LEA).[5]

Area Seats
BallyfermotDrimnagh 6
Ballymun 7
BeaumontDonaghmede 9
CabraFinglas 7
Clontarf 6
CrumlinKimmage 6
North Inner City 8
PembrokeSouth Dock 8
RathgarRathmines 6

2014 seats summary

Party Seats
Sinn Féin 16
Fianna Fáil 9
Fine Gael 8
Labour Party 8
People Before Profit 5
Green Party 3
Anti-Austerity Alliance 1
United Left 1
Independent 12

Councillors by electoral area

This list reflects the order in which councillors were elected on 23 May 2014.[6]

Council members from 2014 election
Local electoral area Name Party
Ballyfermot–Drimnagh Daithí Doolan Sinn Féin
Bríd Smith People Before Profit
Greg Kelly Sinn Féin
Paul Hand Independent
Vincent Jackson Independent
Daithí de Róiste Fianna Fáil
Ballymun Noeleen Reilly Sinn Féin
Cathleen Carney Boud Sinn Féin
Noel Rock Fine Gael
Andrew Montague Labour Party
Paul McAuliffe Fianna Fáil
Andrew Keegan People Before Profit
Áine Clancy Labour Party
Beaumont–Donaghmede Larry O'Toole Sinn Féin
Tom Brabazon Fianna Fáil
John Lyons People Before Profit
Mícheál MacDonncha Sinn Féin
Denise Mitchell Sinn Féin
Declan Flanagan Fine Gael
Michael O'Brien Anti-Austerity Alliance
Paddy Bourke Independent
Alison Gilliland Labour Party
Cabra–Finglas Cieran Perry Independent
Anthony Connaghan Sinn Féin
Emma Murphy Sinn Féin
Séamas McGrattan Sinn Féin
Brendan Carr Labour Party
David Costello Fianna Fáil
Teresa Keegan Independent
Clontarf Damian O'Farrell Independent
Seán Haughey Fianna Fáil
Naoise Ó Muirí Fine Gael
Jane Horgan-Jones Labour Party
Deirdre Heney Fianna Fáil
Ciarán O'Moore Sinn Féin
Crumlin–Kimmage Críona Ní Dhálaigh Sinn Féin
Tina MacVeigh People Before Profit
Ray McHugh Sinn Féin
Rebecca Moynihan Labour Party
Catherine Ardagh Fianna Fáil
Pat Dunne‡ United Left
North Inner City Janice Boylan Sinn Féin
Christy Burke Independent
Nial Ring Independent
Jonathan Dowdall† Sinn Féin
Ciarán Cuffe Green Party
Gary Gannon‡ Independent
Ray McAdam Fine Gael
Éilis Ryan Independent
Pembroke–South Dock Chris Andrews Sinn Féin
Mannix Flynn Independent
Dermot Lacey Labour Party
Frank Kennedy Fianna Fáil
Claire Byrne Green Party
Paddy McCartan Fine Gael
Kieran Binchy Fine Gael
Sonya Stapleton People Before Profit
Rathgar–Rathmines Kate O'Connell Fine Gael
Patrick Costello Green Party
Jim O'Callaghan Fianna Fáil
Mary Freehill Labour Party
Paddy Smyth Fine Gael
Ruairí McGinley Independent

Replaced during term, see table below for details.
Changed party, see table below for details.


Outgoing Party Electoral area Reason Date Co-optee Party
Jonathan Dowdall Sinn Féin North Inner City Resigned from the council February 2015 Gaye Fagan Sinn Féin
Noel Rock Fine Gael Ballymun Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 general election February 2016 Norma Sammon Fine Gael
Kate O'Connell Fine Gael Rathgar-Rathmines Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 general election February 2016 Anne Feeney Fine Gael
Jim O'Callaghan Fianna Fáil Rathgar-Rathmines Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 general election February 2016 Claire O'Connor Fianna Fáil
Bríd Smith People Before Profit Alliance Ballyfermot-Drimnagh Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 general election February 2016 Hazel De Nortúin People Before Profit Alliance
Denise Mitchell Sinn Féin Beaumont-Donaghmede Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 general election February 2016 Edel Moran Sinn Féin
Seán Haughey Fianna Fáil Clontarf Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 general election February 2016 Seán Paul Mahon Fianna Fáil

Changes in affiliation

Name Electoral area Elected as New affiliation Date
Éilis Ryan North Inner City Independent Workers' Party January 2015
Gary Gannon North Inner City Independent Social Democrats September 2015
Pat Dunne Crumlin–Kimmage United Left Independent December 2015

Dublin City Council must by law at least once in every ten years, following consultation with the returning officer for Dáil elections in respect of each constituency within its area, establish a polling district containing a polling place. This is call the Polling Scheme which lists each constituency with its Local electoral areas, polling districts and polling places.

Council buildings

The Civic Offices, Wood Quay
Executive and administrative offices.

The Lord Mayor's official residence is the Mansion House, which first became the residence of the Lord Mayor in 1715.

Council meetings take place in the headquarters at Dublin City Hall. Formerly Royal Exchange, the City Hall is one of Dublin's finest buildings and located on Dame Street. It was built in 1769–79 to the winning design of Thomas Cooley. In an architectural competition, James Gandon was the runner-up with a scheme that many people favoured. The building was taken over for city government use in the 1850s.

Much of the council's administrative staff are based in the Civic Offices on Wood Quay. These offices were built in 1979–80 on top of what had been one of the best preserved Viking sites in the world. The Corporation's (as it was then) decision to bulldoze the historic site proved one of the most controversial in modern Irish history, with thousands of people, including medieval historian Fr. F. X. Martin and Senator Mary Robinson (later President of Ireland) marching to try to stop the destruction. The destruction of the site on Wood Quay and the building of a set of offices known as The Bunkers (being a prime example of Brutalist architecture) is generally seen as one of the most disastrous acts against Ireland's heritage since independence, with even Dublin Corporation admitting subsequently that it was ashamed of its action. Originally, there were to be four of these 'bunkers' built but only two were ever completed. Instead the river frontage is a block designed by the firm Scott Tallon Walker. Completed in 1994, it boasts a leafy atrium and fine views from many of its offices.


  1. (Regional Authorities) Establishment Order 1993.
  2. Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993:
    Section 2: "the county", in relation to any time before the establishment day, means the administrative county of Dublin
    Section 9(1) On the establishment day— ... (a) the county shall cease to exist.
  3. According to the "Local Government Act, 2001", section 10(2): "The State continues to stand divided into local government areas to be known as counties and cities which are the areas set out in Parts 1 and 2, respectively, of Schedule 5.".
  4. "Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993, Section 9.—(1)". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  5. "S.I. No. 56/2014 – City and County of Limerick Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2014". Irish Statute Book. 7 February 2014.
  6. "2014 Local elections: Dublin City Council". Local Government. Retrieved 31 July 2014.

External links

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