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County Dublin

County Dublin
Contae Bhaile Átha Cliath
Coat of arms of County Dublin
Coat of arms
Motto: Beart do réir ár mbriathar  (Irish)
"Action to match our speech"
Location of County Dublin
Country Ireland
Dáil Éireann Dublin Central
Dublin Mid–West
Dublin North–Central
Dublin North–East
Dublin North–West
Dublin South
Dublin South–Central
Dublin South–East
Dublin South–West
Dublin West
Dún Laoghaire
EU Parliament Dublin
Province Leinster
County town Dublin
 • Total 922 km2 (356 sq mi)
Area rank 30th
Population (2011) 1,270,603
 • Rank 1st
Vehicle index
mark code

County Dublin (Irish: Contae Bhaile Átha Cliath or Contae Átha Cliath) is a county in Ireland. It is sometimes officially referred to as the Dublin Region and is in the province of Leinster. It is named after the city of Dublin, which is the regional capital and the capital city of Ireland. County Dublin was one of the first parts of Ireland to be shired by King John of England following the Norman invasion of Ireland.

Prior to 1994 County Dublin was an administrative county run by a county council with functional area covering the whole county excluding the functional area of Dublin City Council. In 1994 Dublin County Council was abolished and replaced with three separate administrative county councils: Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin.

The population of the county was 1,270,603 according to the census of 2011.[1]


  • Local government and politics 1
    • Dublin Region 1.1
    • Dissolution of Dublin County Council 1.2
  • Media 2
  • Transport 3
  • Economy 4
  • Transport 5
  • Demographics 6
    • Urban areas 6.1
    • Towns and suburbs 6.2
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Local government and politics

There are four local authorities whose remit collectively encompasses the geographic area of the county and city of Dublin. These are Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Fingal County Council.

There is also Dublin Regional Authority which has authority over the while county but this body has few powers. It consists of 30 representatives who meet once per month.[2] These representatives are nominated from the four administrative councils of the region. Like each Regional Authority, it is assisted in its duties by an Operational Committee and EU Operational Committee.[2]

Dublin Region
Name Area Population
1 Dublin City 114.99 km2 (44.40 sq mi) 525,383
2 Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown 127.31 km2 (49.15 sq mi) 206,995
3 Fingal 454.60 km2 (175.52 sq mi) 273,051
4 South Dublin 222.74 km2 (86.00 sq mi) 265,174

Prior to the enactment of the Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993, the county was a unified whole even though it was administered by two local authorities - Dublin County Council and Dublin Corporation. Since the enactment of the Local Government Act 2001 in particular, the geographic area of the county has been divided between three entities at the level of "county" and a further entity at the level of "city". They rank equally as first level local administrative units of the NUTS 3 Dublin Region for Eurostat purposes. There are 34 LAU 1 entities in the Republic of Ireland. Each local authority is responsible for certain local services such as sanitation, planning and development, libraries, the collection of motor taxation, local roads and social housing.

The county is part of the Dublin constituency for the purposes of European elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the area of the county is today divided into twelve constituencies: Dublin Central, Dublin Mid–West, Dublin North, Dublin North–Central, Dublin North–East, Dublin North–West, Dublin South, Dublin South–Central, Dublin South–East, Dublin South–West, Dublin West and Dún Laoghaire. Together they return 47 deputies (TDs) to the Dáil.

Dublin Region

The Dublin region of Ireland with each constituent county/city council highlighted.

The Dublin Region is a NUTS Level III region of Ireland. The region is one of eight regions of the Republic of Ireland for the purposes of Eurostat statistics. Its NUTS code is IE021. It is co-extensive with the old county. The regional capital is Dublin City which is also the national capital.[2]

Dissolution of Dublin County Council

View of Dublin Bay from Killiney

Dublin County Council (which did not include the county borough of Dublin) was abolished in 1994 and the area divided among the administrative counties of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin each with its county seat. To these areas may be added the area of Dublin city which collectively comprise the Dublin Region[3] (Réigiúin Átha Cliath) and come under the remit of the Dublin Regional Authority.

The area lost its administrative county status in 1994, with Section 9 Part 1(a) of the Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993 stating that "the county shall cease to exist."[4][5] In discussing the legislation to dissolve Dublin County Council, Avril Doyle TD said, "The Bill before us today effectively abolishes County Dublin, and as one born and bred in these parts of Ireland I find it rather strange that we in this House are abolishing County Dublin. I am not sure whether Dubliners realise that that is what we are about today, but in effect that is the case."[6]

Despite the legal status of the Dublin Region, the term "County Dublin" is still in common usage. Many organisations and sporting teams continue to organise on a "County Dublin" or "Dublin Region" basis. The area formerly known as "County Dublin" is now defined in legislation solely as the "Dublin Region" under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993,[3] and this is the terminology officially used by the four Dublin administrative councils in press releases concerning the former county area. The term Greater Dublin Area, which might consist of some or all of the Dublin Region along with counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, has no legal standing.

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.


Three Rock Mountain, Dublin, Ireland looking towards Bray Head

Most of the area can receive the five main UK television channels on analogue television as well as the main Irish channels, along with Sky TV and UPC cable television.



The economy of County Dublin was identified as being the powerhouse behind the Celtic Tiger, a period of strong economic growth of the state. This resulted in the economy of the county expanding by almost 100% between the early 1990s and 2007. This growth resulted from incoming high-value industries, such as financial services and software manufacturing, as well as low-skilled retail and domestic services, which caused a shift away from older manufacturing-industry.[2] This change saw high unemployment in the 1980s and early 1990s which resulted in damage to the capitals social structure.[2]

County Dublin's GDP in 2002 was €42.505bn, with GDP per capita at 129% of the state average, and 171% of the European Union average.[2] The workforce of the county in 2003 was 555,306 which equated to a 95.9% employment rate with services (80.0%), industrial employment (12.0%), and construction (8.0%) forming the key industries.[2]


County Dublin is the main transport node of Ireland,[2] and contains one international airport, Dublin Airport. It is also served by two main seaports, Dún Laoghaire port and Dublin Port, which is just located outside of the city center. The two main train stations are Dublin Heuston and Dublin Connolly, both of which serve intercity trains.


According to the 2006 census, County Dublin had a population of 1,187,176, which constitutes 30% of the national population. This was an increase of 9.5% on 2002 figures. Its population density was 1,218/km². The population of Dublin City, was 506,211.[2]

The median age of the population of the county in the 2006 census was 35.6 years, with 62% of people aged between 20–64 years old. Net migration to the county between 2002 and 2006 was 48,000, with a natural increase of 33,000 people.[2]

There are 10,469 Irish speakers in County Dublin attending the 31 Gaelscoils (Irish language primary schools) and eight Gaelcholáiste (Irish language secondary schools).[7] There may be up to another 10,000 Irish speakers from the Gaeltacht living and working in Dublin also.

Urban areas

A list of the largest urban areas (those with over 1,000 inhabitants) in County Dublin. Administrative county seats are shown in bold.

Rank Urban area County Population
(2006 census)
1 Dublin Dublin City,
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown,
South Dublin
2 Blanchardstown Fingal 68,156
3 Swords Fingal 33,998
4 Balbriggan Fingal 15,559
5 Malahide Fingal 14,937
6 Skerries Fingal 9,535
7 Portmarnock Fingal 8,979
8 Rush Fingal 8,286
9 Donabate Fingal 5,499
10 Lusk Fingal 5,236

Towns and suburbs

See also


  1. ^ Census of Population 2011: Preliminary Results, Central Statistics Office. Retrieved 30 October 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Irish Region Office - Regions of Ireland: Dublin Region
  3. ^ a b "Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993". Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  4. ^ Act of the Oireachtas: Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993 (Section 9 Part 1(a))
  5. ^ Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993 Section 2 specifies: “the county”, in relation to any time before the establishment day, means the administrative county of Dublin.
  6. ^ Dáil Éireann: Parliamentary Debates (3 November 1993)
  7. ^ "Oideachas Trí Mheán na Gaeilge in Éirinn sa Ghalltacht 2010-2011" (in Irish). 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  8. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865.
  9. ^ "Census for post 1821 figures". 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Northern Ireland Census of Population". NISRA. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  12. ^  
  13. ^  

External links

  • Dublin Regional Authority
  • Architecture of County Dublin
  • Civil parishes of County Dublin, from
  • Score for 'Quality of Life' in County Dublin
  • Gaelscoil stats
  • Que ver en Dublín

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