Regions of Ireland


The 8 Regional Authorities were established by the 1991 Local Government Act and came into existence in 1994. Under this Act, the Regional Authorities have two main functions: to promote the co-ordination of public service provision and to monitor the delivery of EU Structural Fund assistance in the regions. The Regional Authorities have specific responsibility for:
• Reviewing, as appropriate, the Development Plans of the Local Authorities in and, where relevant, adjoining the Region to consider the consistency of plans with one another and with the overall development needs of the Region.
• Preparing Regional Planning Guidelines and Regional Economic and Social Strategies;
• Promotingconsultation, cooperation, and joint arrangements and actions among local authorities and other public bodies, including consideration by Public Authorities of the implications for, or the effect of, their decisions, activities or services on the Region.

Membership of the Regional Authorities

The members of the Regional Authorities are not directly elected, but nominated from among the elected members of the local authorities in the region. Each local authority has a certain number of seats on a Regional Authority, based loosely on the population of the local authority area. The size of the Regional Authorities varies from 21 members in the Mid-East region to 37 members in the Border region.

Structure of Regional Authorities

To assist the Regional Authority in undertaking its functions, each has an Operational Committee and an EU Operational Committee. The Operational Committee is chaired by the Cathaoirleach (Chairperson) of the Regional Authority and is composed of senior management from the constituent local authorities and other relevant public sector agencies operating in the region. It helps prepare the work of the Regional Authority and assists and advises it on matters relating to its functions. Also, each Regional Authority has a designated city/county manager (chief executive of a local authority) from one of its local authorities to further enhance the linkages between the local authorities and the Regional Authority.

The EU Operational Committee has a similar, but broader, composition and assists the Regional Authority in matters relating to EU assistance and reviewing the implementation of various EU Operational Programmes in a region.

Each Regional Authority has a Director, assisted by a number of policy and administrative staff.

Financing of the Regional Authorities

The financing of the activities of the Regional Authorities is largely borne by their constituent local authorities.

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Map of Regional Authorities The South West Regional Authority The South-East Regional Authority The Mid-West Regional Authority The Mid-East Regional Authority The Dublin Regional Authority The Midlands Regional Authority The West Regional Authority The Border Regional Authority

Click on the map above to find out more about a selected Regional Authorities.