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AILG Launches Manifesto for Empowering Local Government in Ireland

Dublin, Ireland – 16th May 2024.

The AILG, the voice of local government today (16th May) launched their Manifesto for the Local Elections, which underscores the need for substantial dialogue and immediate action concerning the future of local democracy and governance in Ireland.

According to AILG, to strengthen local government and address the challenges facing the future of local democracy, decentralisation needs to be at the forefront.

The Manifesto notes that Ireland has one of the most centralised systems of local government compared to our European counterparts in terms of powers, functions, service delivery and funding. It also addresses a number of key priorities in supporting training and education for Councillors, climate action, gender and diversity in local government, and local authority funding. The Manifesto outlines a number of strategic priorities to address the severe housing and homelessness crisis, noting that local authorities should be reinforced as the primary providers of social housing and supported to effectively tackle this issue.

Receiving the Manifesto from AILG President Cllr. Gail Dunne, Minister Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage said:

“This Manifesto underscores the significance of the upcoming local elections and the vital democratic leadership that local councillors will provide in the aftermath. Our local councillors and local authorities are the frontline of our democracy and the work which they do every day serving their communities is not underestimated.”

Also responding to the AILG publication, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Alan Dillion TD said:

“I want to commend the AILG for their Manifesto which prompts considerable reflection and makes an important contribution to the discussion on the future of local government. As the newly appointed Minister for local government, I look forward to working with the AILG to strengthen our local government structures and enhance the role of local authorities in serving our communities effectively.”

Key Proposals from the AILG Manifesto Include:

  • Devolution of More Powers: Encouraging central government to expand the legislative powers of Councillors and local authorities, allowing for greater local governance and enhanced service delivery, particularly in social housing and economic development.
  • Enhanced Support for Local Councillors: Providing better support mechanisms for Councillors to enable them to fulfil their roles as community leaders and policymakers effectively.
  • Housing and Homelessness: Solidifying the position of local authorities as the primary providers of social housing in each city and county.
  • Supporting Gender and Diversity in Local Government: to resource and support the expansion of the Regional Women’s Caucus Network across all local authorities.

Speaking at the launch, AILG’s President, Cllr. Gail Dunne said:

“Our local government system is the most directly accessible form of democracy in Ireland. For 125 years, Ireland’s local authorities have been pivotal in fostering community well-being and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens. The manifesto introduced by AILG seeks to build on this historic legacy by advocating for increased powers and responsibilities to be devolved to Councillors and local authorities. We invite the public, policymakers, and all stakeholders to engage with our Manifesto and to understand the challenges faced by Councillors and local government.

Above all, we encourage people to reflect on the value and importance of local democracy, and we encourage everyone that is eligible to vote to ensure they are registered and use their voice on polling day on the 7th of June.”


AILG Local Election Manifesto – Link

The Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) is the primary body representing the democratically elected members and their member local authority. It is a networking, policy development and training resource for the elected members of Ireland’s thirty-one county and city councils.

For further information please contact Elaine Lynch (AILG Communications Officer) Tel: 087-3470274.

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