Dublin Corporation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dublin Corporation
(formally: The Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the City of Dublin)

(Irish: Bardas Bhaile Átha Cliath)
Coat of arms of Dublin City: Motto: Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas ("The Obedience of the citizens produces a happy city")
HousesBoard of Aldermen (1661–1840)
Common Council (up to 24 Sheriffs Peers and 96 Commons) (1661–1840)
City Council (52 Councillors) (1840–2001)
Establishedc. 1192, reformed 1660–1661
Disbanded(renamed) 1 January 2002
Seats52 Councillors
24 Aldermen (1661–1840)
Meeting place
City Hall, Dublin

Dublin Corporation (Irish: Bardas Bhaile Átha Cliath), known by generations of Dubliners simply as The Corpo, is the former name of the city government and its administrative organisation in Dublin since the 1100s. Significantly re-structured in 1660–1661, even more significantly in 1840, it was modernised on 1 January 2002, as part of a general reform of local government in Ireland, and since then is known as Dublin City Council. This article deals with the history of municipal government in Dublin up to 31 December 2001.

The Coat of Arms and motto of Dublin Corporation, from a floor mosaic in City Hall. The arms underwent numerous revisions but always featured the original 13th-century image of three burning castles on its shield.

The long form of its name was The Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the City of Dublin.


Dublin Corporation was established under the Anglo-Normans in the reign of Henry II of England in the 12th century.

Two-chamber Corporation[edit]

The aldermen and Lord Mayor of Dublin welcome back Sir Henry Sidney from battle.

For centuries it was a two-chamber body, made up of an upper house of 24 aldermen, who elected a mayor from their number, and a lower house, known as the "sheriffs and commons", consisting of up to 48 sheriffs peers (former sheriffs) and 96 representatives of guilds.[1]

19th-century reform[edit]

Dublin City Hall (formerly the Royal Exchange)

The modern Dublin Corporation was restructured by late 19th-century and 20th-century legislation, particularly, the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840, with the elected body reduced to a single chamber Dublin City Council, presided over by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, an office first instituted but not filled by King Charles I and reconstituted following the Restoration of the Crown by King Charles II.

Queen Victoria refused to visit Ireland for a number of years, partly in protest at Dublin Corporation's decision not to congratulate her son, Prince Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales, on both his marriage to Princess Alexandra of Denmark and on the birth of the royal couple's oldest son, Prince Albert Victor.[2]

21st-century change of name[edit]

On 1 January 2002, following a major reform of local government which also abolished the 300-year-old title of Alderman in the Republic of Ireland and the 700-year-old title of 'town clerk' in Dublin, the name of Dublin Corporation was changed to Dublin City Council, which previously had been used simply to refer to the assembly of elected councillors. The body had full corporate continuity but there were some boundary and other changes.[3]

See also[edit]


  • Report of the Commission on Municipal Corporations in Ireland (1835) Appendix on Dublin: pp.1–116 and pp.117–311
  1. ^ The Corporation of Dublin 1660 – 1760 Archived 2016-04-15 at the Wayback Machine, Sean Murphy, Dublin Historical Record, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Dec., 1984), pp. 22–35
  2. ^ "Victoria | Family Tree, Children, Successor, & Facts | Britannica". Archived from the original on 30 April 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  3. ^ Dublin, Local Government Act 2001: A local authority shall . . . continue to be a body corporate with perpetual succession and power to sue and be sued in its corporate name and to acquire, hold, manage, maintain and dispose of land or any interest in land / Notwithstanding the repeal of enactments relating to its establishment and constitution, a county council or county borough corporation in being immediately before the establishment day, continues in being but subject to the provisions of this Act applying and having effect. / notwithstanding any change brought about by this Act in the corporate name of any such body or in its corporate status or constitution and the functions vested by any enactment in such body shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, continue to stand so vested / A reference in any other enactment or other document to a local authority (being a local authority which continues to stand established) by its name applying before it was changed under this Act shall be read as a reference to that body as renamed.