There are 31 local authorities in Ireland. The elected council is the policy making forum of the local authority.
The 31 local authorities provide hundreds of services ranging from roads; planning; housing; economic and community development; environment, recreation, and amenity services; libraries and fire services.
Role of the councillor
There are 949 councillors elected to the 31 councils in the country, with council membership in local authorities ranging from 18 to 63.
Apart from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin, Dublin City, Cork City and Galway City, all local authority areas are divided into municipal districts with councillors simultaneously representing the municipal district and the local authority. In total, there are 95 municipal districts in the country.
The elected council is the policy making forum of the local authority; the municipal district members act as a decision-making sub-formation of the overall council in respect of their municipal district area. Elected councils (operating at local authority or municipal district level) exercise ‘reserved functions’ defined in law across a range of legislation.
Role of the executive
The day-to-day management of a local authority is carried out by the executive, i.e. the full-time officials led by the chief executive. The chief executive has a duty to advise and assist the elected council in the exercise of their functions.