Local Government Administration
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government oversees the operation of the local government system and implements policy in relation to local government structures, functions, human resources and financing. Local government in Ireland consists of a number of local and regional authorities and municipal districts.
• at county/city level: 26 County Councils, 3 City Councils, 2 City and County Councils.
• at municipal district level: 95 municipal districts.
• at regional level: 3 regional assemblies
Because of the role local authorities play, the range of matters for which they are responsible and their closeness to local communities local government has a more immediate effect on the day-to-day lives of the people than most other sectors of public administration. In common with Dáil Éireann and the Presidency, it is the only other institution whose members are directly elected by all of the people. Local government has, therefore, both a representational and an operational role, with responsibility for a range of services.
The elected council is the policy-making arm of the local authority the members of which act by what are termed ‘reserved functions’ which are defined by law and specified across a whole range of enactments. These comprise mainly decisions on important matters of policy and finance (e.g. adoption of annual budget, development plan, bye-laws). The day-to-day management of the local authority, including staffing matters, is vested in a full time chief executive. The chief executive and/or staff to whom functions are delegated discharge what are termed ‘executive functions’ – in effect these involve the day-to-day running of the authority within the policy parameters as determined by the council. Any function of a local authority that is not specified in law as a reserved function is deemed to be an executive function. The legal character of a local authority thus comprises two elements, the elected council of the authority and the chief executive, with responsibility for performing local authority functions shared between them. However, legally all functions, whether performed by the elected council or by the chief executive, are exercised on behalf of the local authority.
- Local Government & Elected Members Booklet - Part 1 (pdf, 502 kb)
- Local Government & Elected Members Booklet - Part 2 (pdf, 3,893 kb)
- Local Government & Elected Members Booklet - Part 3 (pdf, 990 kb)
- Indecon Review of County/City Development Board Strategic Reviews and Proposals for Strengthening and Developing the Boards (doc, 939 kb)
- more publications
- 04/02/15: Minister Kelly: ‘Local Authorities Need to Meet the Challenge in Delivering our Social Housing Strategy’
- 04/09/14: Government Finalises Implementation of Local Property Tax
- 05/03/14: Hogan highlights NPPR penalty grace-period
- 13/12/13: Hogan Announces €98M funding boost for Local Government
- Local Government Reform Act 2014 (pdf, 1,349 kb)
- Local Government Act 2001 (pdf, 923 kb)
- SI 231 of 2014 Local Government (Performance of Reserved Functions in respect of Municipal Districts) Regulations 2014 (pdf, 134 kb)
- SI 215 of 2014 Local Government Reform Act 2014 ( 2014 Establishment Day) Order 2014 (pdf, 37 kb)
- SI 236 of 2014 - Local Government (Expenses of Local Authority Members) Regulations 2014 (pdf, 173 kb)
- Local Government (Business Improvement Districts) Act 2006 (pdf, 368 kb)
- Local Government (No 2) Act 2003 & Explanatory Memorandum (pdf, 30 kb)
- more legislation