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County Dublin ( ), or more correctly today the Dublin Region (Réigiúin Átha Cliath), is the area that contains the city of Dublinmarker, the capital of Irelandmarker as well as the largest city on the island of Irelandmarker; and the modern counties of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. The Dublin Regional Authority is the regional authority for the region. Dublin was one of the oldest of the Counties of Ireland to be formally structured.


Dublin is located on the east coast of Ireland in the province of Leinster. The area held county status until its dissolution as such in 1994, where Section 9 Part 1(a) of the Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993 stated that as of 1 January 1994 "the county shall cease to exist." At that time, and in response to a European Council report highlighting Ireland as the most centralised country in the European Union, it was decided that a single County Dublin was unmanageable and undemocratic from a local government perspective. The county was formally abolished and replaced with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin the seats of which exist at the towns of Dún Laoghaire, Swords and Tallaght respectively. The Government was fully aware of the magnitude of the legislation that was being passed, most poignantly noted by Avril Doyle in Dáil Éireann on 3 November 1993, where she declared "The Bill before us today effectively abolishes County Dublin. I am not sure whether Dubliners realise that that is what we are about today, but in effect that is the case."

Current status

At present, many organisations, state agencies and sporting teams continue to operate on a "County Dublin" basis. Subsequently, much confusion exists around the legitimacy of the new counties - though they do have administrative county status, the only protected recognition of a county within the Republic of Irelandmarker. County Dublin is now defined in legislation solely as the "Dublin Region" under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, and this is the terminology officially used by the four Dublin administrative councils in press releases concerning the former county area. Separate use of the term Greater Dublin Area, which consists of all of the Dublin Region and the counties of Kildaremarker, Meathmarker and Wicklowmarker has created additional confusion. The census of 2002 recorded the total population of the Dublin Region at 1,122,821, accounting for 28% of the national figure.

The latest Ordnance Survey Ireland "Discovery Series" (Third Edition 2005) 1:50,000 map of the Dublin Region, Sheet 50, shows the boundaries of the city and three surrounding counties of the region. Extremities of the Dublin Region, in the north and south of the region, appear in other sheets of the series, 43 and 56 respectively.

Since the early-1990s, all Irish car registration plates include the letters of the major city or county where any given vehicle has been registered, with those registered in the Dublin Region are designated 'D'. Since both Co. Fingal and the counties of South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown were established after the introduction of the new regitration system, these counties remain unrecognised on modern vehicle plates (eg, there is no 'FL' designation for new cars purchased and registered in Fingal).

Local government

Map of the Dublin Region
Dublin City Council has existed for centuries, previously as Dublin Corporation, as a county borough, whilst Dublin County Council in 1994 was abolished and replaced by three new county councils. Thus in summary the local authority divisions within the Dublin Region are:

Name Map Area Pop: 2006
km² sq mi
City of Dublinmarker 1 (12.6%) 505,739 (42.6%)
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown 2 (13.9%) 193,688 (16.3%)
Fingal 3 (49.1%) 239,813 (20.2%)
South Dublin 4 (24.4%) 246,919 (20.8%)

Mayor of Dublin

In May 2009, John Gormley, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, announced plans to have a directly-elected "Mayor of Dublin" from 2010, whose powers would be similar to those of the Mayor of London, and whose authority would extend to all four local authority areas within the historic county of Dublin. The Mayor would chair the Dublin Transport Authority. The existing Lord Mayor of Dublin is the chair of the City Council, a position which rotates annually.

Towns and suburbs

See also


  1. Act of the Oireachtas: Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993 (Section 9 Part 1(a))
  2. Dáil Éireann: Parliamentary Debates (3 November, 1993)
  3. Central Statistics Office: Census 2002 (Volume 1- Population Classified by Area) NB Needs to be revised for these figures

External links

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