Donegal County Council

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Donegal County Council

Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall
Coat of arms or logo
Liam Blaney, FF
Donegal County Council Composition.svg
Political groups
  •   Fianna Fáil (12)
  •   Sinn Féin (10)
  •   Fine Gael (5)
  •   Labour Party (1)
  •   Independent (9)
Last election
24 May 2019
Mutuam habeatis caritatem (Latin)
"Maintain among you mutual love and charity"
Meeting place
The Diamond, Lifford (geograph 2603462).jpg
County House, Lifford
The area governed by the council

Donegal County Council (Irish: Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall) is the authority responsible for local government in County Donegal, Ireland. As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. It has 37 elected members. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the title of Cathaoirleach (chairperson). The county administration is headed by a Chief Executive, John McLaughlin. The county town is Lifford.


Donegal County Council, which had previously held its meetings in Lifford Courthouse,[1] acquired County House in Lifford for use as its meeting place and administrative headquarters in 1930.[2]

The d'Hondt method has been deployed by Donegal County Council since 2009 and has worked on all but Budget Day, leading Martin Harley (running mate of Joe McHugh at the 2020 general election) to suggest it be used to help form a government.[3]

Following the 2015 RTÉ programme Standards in Public Office, in March 2019, John O'Donnell was found by the Standards in Public Office Commission to have contravened the Local Government Act in three different instances, including failure to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest.[4]

Regional Assembly[edit]

Donegal County Council has three representatives on the Northern and Western Regional Assembly where they are part of the Border Strategic Planning Area Committee.[5]

Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts[edit]

Donegal County Council is divided into the following municipal districts and local electoral areas, defined by electoral divisions.[6]

Municipal District LEA Definition Seats
Donegal An Bhinn Bhán, An Leargaidh Mhór, Ballintra (in the former Rural District of Ballyshannon), Ballintra (in the former Rural District of Donegal), Ballyshannon Rural, Ballyshannon Urban, Bonnyglen, Bundoran Rural, Bundoran Urban, Carrickboy, Cavangarden, Cill Charthaigh, Cill Ghabhlaigh, Cliff, Clogher, Corkermore, Cró Chaorach, Crownarad, Donegal, Dunkineely, Eanymore, Gleann Cholm Cille, Grousehall, Haugh, Inver, Killybegs, Laghy, Loch Iascaigh, Málainn Bhig, Pettigoe, Tantallon, Tawnawully, Templecarn, Tieveskeelta and Tullynaught. 6
Glenties An Clochán Liath, An Craoslach, An Dúchoraidh, An Ghrafaidh, An Machaire, Anagaire, Árainn Mhór, Ard an Rátha, Ards, Baile na Finne, Caisleán na dTuath, Críoch na Sméar, Cró Bheithe, Dawros, Dún Fionnachaidh, Dún Lúiche, Gleann Gheis, Gleann Léithín, Gort an Choirce, Inis Caoil, Inis Mhic an Doirn, Leitir Mhic an Bhaird, Maas, Machaire Chlochair, Maol Mosóg, Mín an Chladaigh, Na Croisbhealaí and Na Gleannta. 6
Inishowen Buncrana Birdstown, Buncrana Rural, Buncrana Urban, Burt, Castleforward, Desertegny, Fahan, Illies, Inch Island, Kilderry, Killea, Mintiaghs, Newtown Cunningham, Three Trees and Whitecastle. 5
Carndonagh Ardmalin, Ballyliffin, Carndonagh, Carthage, Castlecary, Culdaff, Dunaff, Gleneely (in the former Rural District of Inishowen), Gleneganon, Glentogher, Greencastle, Malin, Moville, Redcastle, Straid, and Turmone 4
Letterkenny–Milford Letterkenny Ballymacool, Castlewray, Corravaddy, Edenacarnan, Gortnavern, Killymasny, Kincraigy, Letterkenny Rural, Letterkenny Urban, Magheraboy, Manorcunningham, Mín an Lábáin, Suí Corr and Templedouglas. 7
Milford An Cheathrú Chaol, An Tearmann, Ballyarr, Carraig Airt, Cnoc Colbha, Creamhghort, Fánaid Thiar, Fánaid Thuaidh, Gartán, Glen, Glenalla, Grianfort, Killygarvan, Kilmacrenan, Loch Caol, Millford, Rathmelton, Rathmullan, Ros Goill and Rosnakill. 3
LiffordStranorlar Allt na Péiste, An Clochán, Castlefinn, Cloghard, Clonleigh North, Clonleigh South, Convoy, Dooish, Feddyglass, Figart, Gleneely (in the former Rural District of Stranorlar), Goland, Killygordon, Knock, Lettermore, Mín Charraigeach, Raphoe, St. Johnstown, Stranorlar, Treantaghmucklagh and Urney West. 6

Current councillors[edit]

The following were elected at the 2019 Donegal County Council election, under the boundaries which existed at the time.

Party Seats
Fianna Fáil 12
Sinn Féin 10
Fine Gael 6
Labour 1
Independent 8

Councillors by electoral area[edit]

This list reflects the order in which councillors were elected on 24 May 2019.[7]

Council members from 2019 election
Local electoral area Name Party
Buncrana Paul Canning Fianna Fáil
Rena Donaghey Fianna Fáil
Jack Murray Sinn Féin
Nicholas Crossan Independent
Terry Crossan Sinn Féin
Carndonagh Martin McDermott Fianna Fáil
Martin Farren Labour
Albert Doherty Sinn Féin
Bernard McGuinness Fine Gael
Donegal Niamh Kennedy Independent
Noel Jordan Sinn Féin
Micheál Naughton Fianna Fáil
Barry Sweeny Fine Gael
Tom Conaghan Independent
Michael McMahon Sinn Féin
Glenties Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig Independent
John Sheamuis Ó Fearraigh Sinn Féin
Máire Therese Gallagher Sinn Féin
Noreen McGarvey Fianna Fáil
Michael McClafferty Fine Gael
Anthony Molloy Fianna Fáil
Letterkenny Ciaran Brogan Fianna Fáil
Jimmy Kavanagh Fine Gael
Michael McBride Independent
Dónal Coyle Fianna Fáil
Kevin Bradley Independent
Manus Kelly[a] Fianna Fáil
Gerry McMonagle Sinn Féin
LiffordStranorlar Martin Harley Fine Gael
Patrick McGowan Fianna Fáil
Gary Doherty Sinn Féin
Gerry Crawford Fianna Fáil
Frank McBrearty Jnr Fine Gael
Liam Doherty Sinn Féin
Milford John O'Donnell Independent
Liam Blaney Fianna Fáil
Ian McGarvey Independent
  1. ^ Replaced during term, see table below for details.


Party Outgoing Electoral area Reason Date Co-optee
Fianna Fáil Manus Kelly Letterkenny Death June 2019 Donal Kelly


  1. ^ "Establishment of Donegal County Council". Donegal County Council. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Local Authorities". Oireachtas. 26 May 1982. Archived from the original on 26 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  3. ^ Walsh, Harry (20 February 2020). "Harley says d'Hondt method could be used to form new government". Donegal News. p. 5.
  4. ^ Kelly, Fiach (26 March 2019). "Sipo finds against two councillors over RTÉ undercover report". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 6 May 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  5. ^ Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Assemblies) (Establishment) Order 2014, Article 5 and Schedule 3 (S.I. No. 573 of 2014). Signed on 16 December 2014. Statutory Instrument of the Government of Ireland. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 17 April 2023.
  6. ^ "S.I. No. 613/2018 - County of Donegal Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018". 19 December 2018. Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Local Elections 2014: Results" (PDF). Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. p. 102. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 October 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.

External links[edit]