Local Government Research

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a process in which the public can participate directly in the allocation of local public
finances. Residents develop project proposals for their local area and vote on shortlisted proposals in order to select
winning projects to be implemented in the area.

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) piloted the first ever PB process in Ireland in 2017 (branded “€300k – Have
Your Say”). SDCC allocated €300,000 to the PB process and selected one of 6 local electoral areas in South Dublin
County by lot in which to pilot the project. The area selected was the Lucan electoral area, which also includes
Palmerstown and Adamstown.

160 ideas were generated at the project proposal stage, through a combination of workshops and online submission
of ideas. These were eventually whittled down to 17 projects which went out for ballot. Over 2,500 ballots were cast
online and in person, and 8 winning projects selected:

  • Playground in Waterstown Park, Palmerstown
  • Feasibility Study for the Restoration of Silver Bridge, Palmerstown
  • Christmas Lights in Lucan Village
  • Planting Native Apple Trees, Lucan Electoral Area
  • Access to Church and Graveyard at Mill Lane, Palmerstown
  • Free Library Book Banks in Public Places – Lucan Electoral Area
  • Multi-Games Wall in Lucan
  • Restoration of King John’s Bridge Griffeen Park – Lucan

The South Dublin County Council “€300k – Have Your Say” PB exercise has been a success and proved very popular.
This is illustrated by the response to a question in the survey of PB participants as to whether they would like to
see the PB process repeated: 94 per cent said they would, and only 6 per cent were against repeating the process.
This report tracks the PB initiative from its start to the selection of the winning projects. The report highlights what
went well and identifies areas for improvement.

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