Convening Meetings

There must be notification to  members and public notice of the agenda.  Notice of the meeting and its agenda is sent to the members.  It is also displayed in the council offices.  Minutes of the meetings including details of persons present and votes are recorded.

There are special arrangements for budget meetings.

There must be a quorum.  There are provisions for the chair ,the conduct of business, and the right of the public and media to attend,

Conduct of Meeting

Members of a local authority are entitled to attend meetings.  The local authority may meet in committee but this  right is restricted to special cases.  The right of attendance  may be subject to standing orders.

Local authority meetings may be conducted in Irish or English or both.  Schedules set out the framework for meetings.  There are to be ordinary and annual meetings and there may be special meetings.

The chairman or mayor presides over meetings.  The vice chairman may preside in his absence.  The chairman has a casting or second vote in the event of a tie in relation to any vote.

Meetings of local authorities are regulated by their own standing orders.  The Department of Local Government issue directions in relation to standing orders and include guidance as to what must be in them.

The minutes of the meeting are kept by the administrator and authenticated by the chairperson. Minutes are published.

Conflict of Interests

Local authority members have obligations under the Ethics in Public Offices Act and Standards in Public Offices Act.  They must maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest.  The Minister may publish codes on the standards expected of local authority members and employees.  Annual declarations of interest must be furnished.  Local authorities must appoint a registrar who keeps registers of interests.

Where an issue at council or committee meeting raises a personal interest for a member, he or she must declare the interest and withdraw from the meeting and not take any further part.  The same principle applies to managers, employees and others involved.

Compelling Performance

The Minister for Local Government may suspend the members of local authorities entirely if

  • they fail to adopt a budget.
  • they wilfully refuse or neglect to comply with legal obligations
  • they fail to comply with court judgments.
  • after a local enquiry, if the Minister is satisfied that the local authority is not carrying out its functions.

Courts may direct a local authority to perform its functions on a judicial review. Equally as governmental bodies, the decisions and actions of local authorities are subject to judicial review.

They may be ordered to carry out duties.  Their decisions and actions may be challenged on the basis of illegality.

The legislation recognises the local authority representative association’s namely the General Council of County Councils and The Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland and the Local Authority Members Association.


The local authority in establishing committees and organizing meetings must seek to promote effective and efficiency. Committees and joint committees may be established.

A strategic policy committee chaired by an elected member may advise councillors on matters of community and sectoral interest. They may advise the council on policy matters. Their establishment is in accordance with guidelines prepared by the Minister.. The activities of the strategic policy committee must be concluded in the annual report.

City and county councils may establish area committees for a local government electoral area or group of areas. The local authority may by resolution of the majority of its members establish one or more committees to advise it.

Functions may be delegated to committees. It may not delegate its functions, powers to adopt the budget, to make a rate or certain other prescribed functions.

A local authority may decide to include people who are not councillors on the committee provided that they have knowledge, qualifications and /or experience in the relevant area.

Joint Committees

Two or more local authorities may establish joint committees with representatives from each authority to consider matters related to their functions. Provisions in relation to joint committees are similar to those in relation to local authority committees.

The joint committee may be established with corporate status. There is provision for regulation and policy guideline by the Minister.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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