Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown
Dún Laoghaire–Ráth an Dúin
—  County  —

Coat of arms
Motto: Ó Chuan go Sliabh  (Irish)
"From Harbour to Mountain"
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
Dáil Éireann Dún Laoghaire,
Dublin South
EU Parliament Dublin
County seat Dún Laoghaire
 – Type County Council
 – Total 127.31 km2 (49.2 sq mi)
Population (2011) 206,995
Car plates D
Website www.dlrcoco.ie

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown[1] (Irish: Dún Laoghaire–Ráth an Dúin) is a county in Ireland. It is one of three smaller counties into which County Dublin was divided in 1994. Located to the south-east of Dublin city, its county seat is the town of Dún Laoghaire. It is one of the four constituent parts of the Dublin Region. It was created in 1994 by merging the areas under the jurisdiction of the Corporation of Dún Laoghaire and the south-east part of the former Dublin County Council. Additionally, the powers of the former Deansgrange Joint Burial Board were subsumed into the new authority. The population of the county is 194,038 according to the 2006 census.[2]

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown is bordered to the east by the Irish Sea, to the north by the local government area of Dublin City Council, to the west by South Dublin and to the south by County Wicklow. University College Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology are located in the county.


Etymology and spelling

The name Rathdown is an anglicisation of the Irish "Ráth an Dúin", meaning "ringfort of the fort". Dún Laoghaire, means "Laoghaire's fort".

There is no "Rathdown" town in the county. The modern county follows virtually the same divisions as the medieval half-barony of Rathdown, a subdivision of County Dublin.

While it is the smallest county in Ireland in terms of area, it is also the county with the longest name. Further, the official legal name of the county, in English, is spelt without a síneadh fada on the "u" in the Irish-language part of the name, "Dún Laoghaire"[3] (although the current style within the county council is to use the síneadh fada on the name in both Irish and English).[4] The reason for this[citation needed] is that the titles of the new Dublin county councils were never examined at committee stage in the Houses of the Oireachtas, and were last altered under the 1991 Local Government Act which was rushed into effect. Both parliamentary debates and Dublin County Council’s own reorganisation report published in 1992 concluded that the name Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown was "unacceptable". A one year proviso contained in the 1993 Local Government (Dublin) Act for changing the name of the county at local level was allowed to expire by the new council. The legislation permits the elected members of the council to make representations for additional legislation altering the name of the county.

Legal status

As part of the Dublin Region, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown is within the geographic remit of the Dublin Regional Authority. Following the enactment of the Local Government Act 2001, the Regional Authority was established.[5] It is one of eight such authorities in the state.

Local government in the region was reorganised by the Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993. The statutory instrument giving effect to the Act came into force on 1 January 1994.[6]
The legislation also provided for the abolition of Dublin County Council – the body that had previously had responsibility for the area. The Act re-designated the existing county borough of Dublin as a "city" under the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council. The Act also split the administrative county of County Dublin into three geographic counties:

In common parlance, the four areas (Dublin City and the three counties established in 1994) are often collectively called County Dublin. While this county was created following the Norman invasion of Ireland, it is unclear whether the city was included in the entity at the time of creation or if it instead enjoyed the status of an independent county borough.

County Arms

The motto on the ensignia of the County Council reads, Ó Chuan go Sliabh, Irish for "From Harbour to Mountain". The crown in the device is that of King Lóegaire mac Néill (Laoghaire, the High King of Ireland in the fifth century, who resided in the area).


Local government

Dún Laoghaire Town Hall

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is the local authority for the administrative county. It was established at the same time that Dublin County Council and the Corporation of Dún Laoghaire were abolished[7] in 1994, by an Act of the Oireachtas, the Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993. It is one of four councils in the Dublin Region. There are six Local Electoral Areas (LEAs) for the county which return a total of 28 councillors as follows: Ballybrack (6), Blackrock (4), Dundrum (6), Dún Laoghaire (6), "Glencullen/Sandyford" (3), Stillorgan (3).

European Parliament

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown is part of the Dublin European Parliament constituency.

Oireachtas representation

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown county is split between the Dáil Éireann constituencies of Dún Laoghaire (4 representatives) and Dublin South (5 representatives), with the division generally running along the N11.


The Dublin Area Rapid Transit system runs through the eastern coast of the county and connects to Dublin city centre to the north as well as other points north and south on the Iarnród Éireann railway system, with connections to Intercity trains. The green Luas line runs through the centre of the county.

There is a medium-sized ferry port at Dún Laoghaire, with ferry crossings to and from Holyhead in North Wales; this is a popular route for tourists travelling across the Irish Sea from Britain. With the advent of faster boats, day trips using the Dún Laoghaire port have become more popular.

Towns, villages, and Dublin suburbs


  1. ^ Electoral Amendment Act 2009 – Schedule
  2. ^ Census 2006 – Population of each province, county and city
  3. ^ Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993 - Section 9 (2c)
  4. ^ DLRcoco.ie
  5. ^ (Regional Authorities) Establishment Order 1993.
  6. ^ Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993:Section 2: "the county", in relation to any time before the establishment day, means the administrative county of Dublin
    Section 9(1) On the establishment day— ... (a) the county shall cease to exist.
  7. ^ "Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993, Section 9.—(1)"
    "On the establishment day—
    (a) the county shall cease to exist,
    (b) the borough shall cease to exist,
    (c) the electoral counties shall cease to exist, and
    (d) the united district of the burial board shall cease to exist."]

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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