Local Elections - Nomination of Candidates


If you wish to be nominated to stand for election to a local authority in Ireland, there is a specific week in which you must be nominated. This week takes place 4 weeks before the polling day.

You may nominate yourself or be nominated by a local government elector registered in the area. You may be nominated to stand in more than one area.


You are eligible to be elected to a local authority if you are ordinarily resident in Ireland and you are at least 18 years old. You do not have to be an Irish citizen.

Certain people are disqualified from becoming members of a local authority:

  • A member of the European Commission, Parliament or Courts
  • A Minister of the Government or a Minister of State
  • An Ceann Comhairle (the Chairman of the Dáil) and an Cathaoirleach (the Chairman of the Seanad)
  • Members of an Garda Siochana (Irish police force) or a full-time member of the Irish defence forces
  • Judges
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General
  • Civil servants. Where it does not specifically state in your contract of employment that you may be a member of a local authority
  • A person employed by a local authority and is not the holder of a class, description or grade of employment designated by order under section 161(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 2001
  • A person employed by the Health Service Executive and who is at a grade or of a description of employment designated by order of the Minister for Health
  • People currently imprisoned for a term longer than 6 months
  • People who have failed pay local authority charges
  • People who have failed to comply with an order of a court to pay money due to a local authority
  • People who have been convicted of fraud or dishonest dealings, corrupt practice or acting while disqualified

How to apply

Nomination forms are available from the local authority returning officer. Once you have completed your nomination form, you must then return the nomination form to the returning officer. You may include party affiliation on the nomination paper. If you have no party affiliation, you may be described as 'Non-Party' or you may leave this space blank.

If you are a member of a political party, you must submit a Certificate of Party Affiliation with your nomination form.

If you are an independent candidate, you must complete your nomination form and one of the following:

  • Statutory declarations by 15 assentors. These are persons registered to vote in the electoral area concerned.
  • Lodge a deposit of €100.

The returning officer must rule on whether your nomination paper is valid within one hour of it's presentation. Your nomination paper may be ruled invalid if:

  • The nomination of a non-party candidate is not assented to in the proper manner, or
  • The nomination paper of any candidate is not properly made out or signed.

The returning officer is required to object to the description of any candidate which is (in the returning officer's opinion), unnecessarily long or insufficient to identify the candidate. The candidate or the returning officers may amend the paticulars shown on the nomination paper.

There is more information on local elections on the website of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and in Section 15 of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009.

Page edited: 14 March 2014