Regions of Ireland


The Republic of Ireland, which covers a land area of 68,895 sq. km and has a population of 4.1 million (2006), has a relatively centralised administration. However, the local and regional levels have important responsibilities in a number of key areas. Local authorities are the main providers of local government services at county/city level. At regional level 8 Regional Authorities ( NUTS III) co-ordinate certain activities of the local authorities and play a monitoring role in relation to the use of EU Structural Funds. The country is further designated into two NUTS II Regions and two Regional Assemblies are responsible for managing the Objective 2 Regional Competitiveness & Employment programmes.

An amendment to the Constitution of Ireland in 1999 gave clear constitutional status to local government for the first time and made it a mandatory requirement for local elections to be held every five years. There are no direct elections to the two regional levels: instead members are nominated to these levels by their local authorities.

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Map indicating Sub-National Governance in Ireland