Politics of Dublin


Politics in Ireland

Ireland is a parliamentary, representative democratic republic and a member state of the European Union. The National Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate) whose functions and powers come from the Constitution of Ireland.

The principal decision-making body in each local authority is composed of the members of the council Dáil Éireann (called Teachta Dála or TDs), which are elected in three to five-member constituencies by single transferable vote, a form of proportional representation. While, in principle, Dáil Éireann is only one of three components of the Oireachtas, in practice, the powers the constitution grants to the Dáil make it by far the dominant branch, meaning that most proposals passed by Dáil Éireann will ultimately become law.

On the other hand, of the 60 members of the Seanad, 11 are appointed by the prime minister, 6 are elected by the Irish universities, and 43 are elected to represent various economic, vocational, and cultural interests.

The national government system comprises five county division corporations, five division corporations in the major cities, and 29 county councils, as well as numerous urban district councils and boards of town commissioners. Each of these is elected at regular intervals by universal adult suffrage.

Those County councils and county area corporations are responsible for physical planning, roads, sewerage and water supplies, housing, public libraries, fire services, and courthouses. Local government authorities in the republic have no functions in relation to police or education.

The President (Uachtarán na héireann) exercises his/her powers on the advice of the government. The President also has absolute discretion in certain matters, for example, referring a Bill to the Supreme Court for a judgment on its constitutionality. The President is elected directly by the people every 7 years.

Executive, Legislative and Judiciary Power in Ireland

Executive power is exercised by the government, which consists of no more than 15 cabinet ministers, inclusive of the Taoiseach and Tánaiste (deputy leader of government).

Legislative power is vested in the Oireachtas, the bicameral national parliament, which consists of Dáil Éireann, Seanad Éireann and the President of Ireland.

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The head of the judiciary is the Chief Justice who presides over the Supreme Court.

In order to be included on the Electoral Register and be able to vote, you will need to satisfy two conditions. You must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on the day the Register comes into force and
  • Have been ordinarily resident in the State in the year before the Register comes into force

For more details about the presidency and politics in Ireland visit: www.president.ie and www.oireachtas.ie/parliament.

Politics in Dublin

Dublin City Council is a unicameral assembly of 63 members elected every five years from Local Election Areas. It is presided over by the Lord Mayor, who is elected for a yearly term and resides in Dublin's Mansion House.

Council meetings occur at Dublin City Hall, while most of its administrative activities are based in the Civic Offices on Wood Quay. The party or coalition of parties, with the majority of seats, adjudicates committee members, introduces policies, appoints the Lord Mayor and passes an annual budget for spending on housing, traffic management, refuse, drainage, planning, etc.

For elections to Dáil Éireann, the city is divided into 5 constituencies: Dublin Central (3 seats), Dublin Bay North (5 seats), Dublin North-West (3 seats), Dublin South-Central (4 seats) and Dublin Bay South (4 seats). Nineteen TD's are elected in total.

These five Area Committees in Dublin City Council, based on electoral area boundaries, are in charged to deal with local issues at a local level. They meet every month to discuss councillors' questions to the area manager, local planning, engineering, transport, development and general services issues. Each committee is made up of 10 Councillors and 5 people representing various nominated organisations active in Dublin City.

For more details about the presidency and politics in Dublin visit: www.dublin.ie/politics.

Update 14/10/2017

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