Dublin City Council

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Dublin City Council
Comhairle Cathrach
Bhaile Átha Cliath
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type City council
Leadership
Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn, Lab
Structure
Seats 52
Political groups      Labour Party (19)
     Fine Gael (12)
     Fianna Fáil (6)
     Sinn Féin (5)
     PBPA (2)
     Éirígí (1)
     Independents (7)
Elections
Last election 5 June 2009
Meeting place
Dublincityhall.jpg
Dublin City Hall
Website
www.dublincity.ie

Dublin City Council (Irish: Comhairle Cathrach Bhaile Átha Cliath) is the authority responsible for local government in the city of Dublin in Ireland. As a city council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. Until 2001, the council was known as "Dublin Corporation". The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. The council has 52 elected members and is the largest local council in Ireland. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the honorific title of Lord Mayor. The city administration is headed by a City Manager, John Tierney. The council meets at City Hall, Dublin.

Legal status[edit]

As part of the Dublin Region, Dublin City Council is within the geographic remit of the Dublin Regional Authority. Following the enactment of the Local Government Act 2001, the Regional Authority was established.[1] It is one of eight such Authorities in the Republic of Ireland. Local government in the region was further regulated by the Local Government Act 1994. This provided for the legal establishment of the following local government administrative areas: Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, and also recognised the extant Dublin Corporation area, vesting its powers in a renamed entity – Dublin City Council. The statutory instrument giving effect to the Act came into force on 1 January 1994.[2] The instrument also provided for the abolition of Dublin County Council – the entity that had previously had responsibility for Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. The four entities collectively comprise the former entity known as County Dublin. This entity, which had been created after the Norman invasion of Ireland, was abolished under the Acts.

Statutory functions[edit]

The functions of the City Council include: Public Housing, Library Services, Refuse Services, Drainage, Driver and Vehicle Licencing, Planning and Roads. The Council budgeted to spend €847,137,522 during 2007 in service of these functions. 50.5% of this went towards the payroll of the Council's staff which was a reduction from 50.7% in 2006. In the case of Traffic Management, the Council receives grants from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and also the National Roads Authority to assist it in meeting this responsibility. The 2007 roads budget was just over €105,000,000, to support maintenance of all roads in its functional area.

History[edit]

The area governed by the council

Prior to 1841, the administrative and governmental system of Dublin, known as Dublin Corporation, was bicameral having an assembly of called the "House of Aldermen" and another called the "House of Sheriffs and Commons". Under the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840, they were replaced by a unicameral assembly. The new name Dublin City Council was coined for the unicameral assembly. The Lord Mayor of Dublin presided over the assembly. This office which had existed since 1665. The first City Council was elected in October 1841 when Daniel O'Connell became the first Lord Mayor. Since 1 January 2002, the functions of local government have been transferred to Dublin City Council.[3] In 1994, Dublin County Council and the Corporation of Dún Laoghaire were abolished[4] but this had no impact on the city council. To coincide with its name change, the City Council adopted a new logo and brand identity, based on a simplified version of the ancient "three castles" symbol.

Structures[edit]

Executive power is shared between the council and an appointed executive official known as the City Manager. The Manager is responsible for a staff of 6,200. The offices of the Manager and other administrative staff are based in the Civic Offices on Wood Quay. The Lord Mayor of Dublin acts as chair of the Council is the ceremonial head of the city government.

Representative power is vested in the city assembly which consists of 52 members. Members are elected using Proportional representation using the Single transferable vote, every five years from Dublin City Council local electoral areas. The City Council meets in plenary session on the first Monday of every month in Dublin City Hall. One of the Council's most important roles is that of passing an annual budget. Should any Irish council fail to pass a budget within the allotted time, the Minister for the Environment is empowered to abolish it and grant its powers to a commissioner until the next scheduled council elections.

Councillors[edit]

The Mansion House.
Official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The Council currently consists of:

Party Seats
Labour Party 19
Fine Gael 12
Fianna Fáil 6
Sinn Féin 5
People Before Profit Alliance 2
Éirígí 1
Independents 7

Nineteen Labour, seven Sinn Féin and six Independent councillors were elected in the 2009 local elections. However, two Sinn Féin Councillors, Christy Burke and Louise Minihan, resigned from the party in 2009 with Burke sitting on the council as an independent and Minihan joining Éirígí, and a third, Killian Forde, resigned in January 2010 to join the Labour Party. Following Forde's resignation from the council, the seat reverted to Sinn Féin.[5]

For the purposes of elections the city is divided into eleven local electoral areas each of which elects between 4 and 6 councillors. The electoral areas used for the last local elections were:

Area Seats
ArtaneWhitehall 5
BallyfermotDrimnagh 4
BallymunFinglas 5
CabraGlasnevin 5
Clontarf 5
CrumlinKimmage 4
Donaghmede 4
North Inner City 6
PembrokeRathmines 6
South East Inner City 4
South West Inner City 4

Dublin City Council must by law at least once in every ten years, following consultation with the returning officer for Dáil elections in respect of each constituency within its area, establish a polling district containing a polling place. This is call the Polling Scheme which lists each constituency with its Local electoral areas, polling districts and polling places.

Councillors by electoral area[edit]

This list reflects the order in which councillors were elected on 5 June 2009.[6]

Council members from 2009 election
Local electoral area Name Party
ArtaneWhitehall Larry O'Toole Sinn Féin
Andrew Montague Labour Party
Veronica Neville Labour Party
Declan Flanagan Fine Gael
Julia Carmichael Fianna Fáil
BallyfermotDrimnagh Michael Conaghan Labour Party
Brid Smith People Before Profit
Vincent Jackson Independent
Louise Minihan Sinn Féin
BallymunFinglas John Lyons Labour Party
Dessie Ellis Sinn Féin
Bill Tormey Fine Gael
John Redmond Labour Party
Paul McAuliffe Fianna Fáil
CabraGlasnevin Mary Fitzpatrick Fianna Fáil
Aine Clancy Labour Party
Cieran Perry Independent
Mary O'Shea Fine Gael
Seamus McGrattan Sinn Féin
Clontarf Damien O'Farrell Independent
Gerry Breen Fine Gael
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin Labour Party
Deirdre Heney Fianna Fáil
Naoise Ó Muirí Fine Gael
CrumlinKimmage Eric Byrne Labour Party
Joan Collins People Before Profit
Henry Upton Labour Party
Ruairi McGinley Fine Gael
Donaghmede Seán Kenny Labour Party
Tom Brabazon Fianna Fáil
Killian Forde Sinn Féin
Pat Crimmins Fine Gael
North Inner City Maureen O'Sullivan Independent
Emer Costello Labour Party
Christy Burke Sinn Féin
Claire O'Regan Labour Party
Niall Ring Independent
Ray McAdam Fine Gael
PembrokeRathmines Eoghan Murphy Fine Gael
Oisín Quinn Labour Party
Jim O'Callaghan Fianna Fáil
Mary Freehill Labour Party
Dermot Lacey Labour Party
Edie Wynn Fine Gael
South East Inner City Kevin Humphreys Labour Party
Gerard Mannix Flynn Independent
Maria Parodi Labour Party
Catherine Noone Fine Gael
South West Inner City John Gallagher Labour Party
Rebecca Moynihan Labour Party
Clare Byrne Fine Gael
Críona Ní Dhálaigh Sinn Féin

Replaced during term, see table below for details.
Changed party, see table below for details.

Co-options[edit]

Outgoing Party Electoral area Reason Date Co-optee Party
Maureen O'Sullivan Independent North Inner City Elected to Dáil Éireann at the Dublin Central by-election June 2009 Marie Metcalfe Independent
Killian Forde Labour Party Donaghmede Resigned from the council February 2011 Mícheál Mac Donncha Sinn Féin
Michael Conaghan Labour Party Ballyfermot–Drimnagh Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Shelia Howes Labour Party
John Lyons Labour Party Ballymun–Finglas Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Steve Wren Labour Party
Dessie Ellis Sinn Féin Ballymun–Finglas Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Anthony Connaghan Sinn Féin
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin Labour Party Clontarf Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Jane Horgan-Jones Labour Party
Eric Byrne Labour Party Crumlin–Kimmage Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Michael O'Sullivan Labour Party
Joan Collins PBPA Crumlin–Kimmage Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Pat Dunne PBPA
Seán Kenny Labour Party Donaghmede Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Brian McDowell Labour Party
Eoghan Murphy Fine Gael Pembroke–Rathmines Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Paddy McCartan Fine Gael
Kevin Humphreys Labour Party South East Inner City Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election February 2011 Gerry Ashe Labour Party
Catherine Noone Fine Gael South East Inner City Elected to Seanad Éireann April 2011 Kieran Binchy Fine Gael
Emer Costello Labour Party North Inner City Replaced Proinsias De Rossa in the European Parliament February 2012 Padraig McLoughlin Labour Party
Marie Metcalfe Independent North Inner City Resigned from the council February 2012 Anna Quigley Independent

Changes in affiliation[edit]

Name Electoral area Elected as New affiliation Date
Christy Burke North Inner City Sinn Féin Independent June 2009
Louis Minihan Ballyfermot-Drimnagh Sinn Féin Éirígí June 2009
Killian Forde Donaghmede Sinn Féin Labour Party January 2010

Council buildings[edit]

The Civic Offices, Wood Quay
Executive and administrative offices.

The Lord Mayor's official residence is the Mansion House, which first became the residence of the Lord Mayor in 1715.

Council meetings take place in the headquarters at Dublin City Hall. Formerly Royal Exchange, the City Hall is one of Dublin's finest buildings and located on Dame Street. It was built in 1769–79 to the winning design of Thomas Cooley. In an architectural competition, James Gandon was the runner-up with a scheme that many people favoured. The building was taken over for city government use in the 1850s.

Much of the council's administrative staff are based in the Civic Offices on Wood Quay. These offices were built in 1979–80 on top of what had been one of the best preserved Viking sites in the world. The Corporation's (as it was then) decision to bulldoze the historic site proved one of the most controversial in modern Irish history, with thousands of people, including medieval historian Fr. F. X. Martin and Senator Mary Robinson (later President of Ireland) marching to try to stop the destruction. The destruction of the site on Wood Quay and the building of a set of offices known as The Bunkers (being a prime example of Brutalist architecture) is generally seen as one of the most disastrous acts against Ireland's heritage since independence, with even Dublin Corporation admitting subsequently that it was ashamed of its action. Originally, there were to be four of these 'bunkers' built but only two were ever completed. Instead the river frontage is a block designed by the firm Scott Tallon Walker. Completed in 1994, it boasts a leafy atrium and fine views from many of its offices.

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Regional Authorities) Establishment Order 1993.
  2. ^ Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993:
    Section 2: "the county", in relation to any time before the establishment day, means the administrative county of Dublin
    Section 9(1) On the establishment day— ... (a) the county shall cease to exist.
  3. ^ According to the "Local Government Act, 2001", section 10(2): "The State continues to stand divided into local government areas to be known as counties and cities which are the areas set out in Parts 1 and 2, respectively, of Schedule 5.".
  4. ^ "Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993, Section 9.—(1)". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Sinn Féin to reclaim Forde's council seat". Dublin People. 15 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "2009 Local elections – Dublin City Council". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 

External links[edit]