Local authorities


Since the 2014 local elections there are 31 local authorities with a total of 949 members known as councillors. Under the Local Government Reform Act 2014 the town authorities were replaced by a system of 95 municipal districts, integrating town and county governance, and certain local authorities were merged.

There are 26 county councils and they are responsible for local government in 24 geographical counties including the county of Dublin. Dublin county has 3 county councils – South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Fingal County Council.

There are 2 city and county councils. They are responsible for local government in Limerick (Limerick City and County Council) and Waterford (Waterford City and County Council).

There are 3 city councils and they are responsible for local government in the cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway.

The number of members that can be elected to a council depends on the size of the county's population. For example, Cork County Council has 55 members and Carlow County Council has only 18. The number of members in each council is set out in Section 15 of the 2014 Act.

The council has jurisdiction or control throughout its administrative area.

Each council has a chief executive, previously known as city or county manager, who is the manager of the local authority.

You can find your local authority’s details on the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) website.

Municipal districts

Under the 2014 Act each council administrative area, apart from the 3 Dublin county councils and the 3 city councils, has a system of municipal districts based on electoral areas. Each council has at least two municipal districts. For example, Kilkenny County Council has 3 municipal districts.

The local authority members elected from these municipal districts take certain decisions in relation to the districts. Certain municipal districts may be known as metropolitan districts or borough districts.

The councils in Dublin and the city councils may establish area committees, but they do not have the same functions as municipal districts.

Page edited: 14 August 2014