What the book is about
The importance and potential of local government in Ireland is often understated. Local government plays a vital, even if undervalued, role in Ireland’s system of government. Members of the public – the citizens served by local government – often remain unaware of its impact on their daily lives until vital services such as roads are negatively affected by severe weather conditions or a controversial planning decision is made.
Local Government in the Republic of Ireland is a valuable resource for those with an interest in knowing more about how our system of local government works, including students, practitioners, and those who regularly interact with local councils. It explains the geographic basis for county council and city council areas; how local councils are elected; and the role of local councillors and the executive/staff in local government. The book provides an overview of the services provided, financing, participation, and accountability in local government. How local government interacts with central government, a range of different public bodies, regional structures, and the European Union is also examined.
Ireland’s system is assessed in the context of local government systems internationally. The book also explores more recent developments, such as the introduction of the local property tax, debates over directly elected mayors, metropolitan governance and the role of ‘city regions’, and local government’s new role in economic development and enterprise support.