Political system at local level


Ireland has a local government system. Local authorities include county councils and city councils. Since 1 June 2014, borough and town councils are replaced by a system of municipal districts, integrating town and county governance. At county or city level, there are 31 city and county councils with integrated municipal districts. These are the main providers of local government services around the country.

Local authorities at all levels are responsible for the representation of local communities and ensuring that concerns are expressed and needs met. Local elections are held in order to elect representatives onto the authority. Local representatives have the power to vote for or against developments that will impact on the local community.

Local authorities are also responsible for the delivery of a wide range of services in their local area. These services generally include:

  • Housing
  • Planning
  • Roads
  • Water supply and sewerage
  • Development incentives and controls
  • Environmental protection, including rivers, lakes, air and noise
  • Recreational facilities and amenities

For more information on local government in Ireland, (for example, to find out about elections to local government, how local government is organised and how services are delivered), you can read more information in our document about local government

Page edited: 17 June 2014