Lord Mayor of Dublin

The Lord Mayor of Dublin (Irish: Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath) is the honorary title of the chairman (Irish: Cathaoirleach, Irish pronunciation: [ˈkahiːɾˠlʲəx])[1] of Dublin City Council which is the local government body for the city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The incumbent is councillor Paul McAuliffe.[2] The office holder is elected annually by the members of the Council.

Lord Mayor of Dublin
Paul McAuliffe (FF)

since June 2019
ResidenceMansion House
AppointerDublin City Council
Term length1 year
Inaugural holderRichard Muton (Mayor)
Sir Daniel Bellingham (Lord Mayor)
Formation1229 (as Mayor of Dublin)
1665 (as Lord Mayor of Dublin)
WebsiteLord Mayor of Dublin


The office of Mayor of Dublin was created in June 1229 by Henry III. The office of Mayor was elevated to Lord Mayor in 1665 by Charles II, and as part of this process received the honorific The Right Honourable (The Rt Hon.). Lords Mayor were ex-officio members of the Privy Council of Ireland, which also entitled them to be addressed The Right Honourable. Though the Privy Council was de facto abolished in 1922, the Lord Mayor continued to be entitled to be addressed as The Right Honourable as a result of the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840, which granted the title in law. The Local Government Act 2001 finally removed the title as a consequence of the repeal of the 1840 act.


The office is largely symbolic and its responsibilities consist of chairing meetings of the city council and representing the city at public events. Apart from a few reserved functions, which are exercised by the city council as a whole, executive power is exercised by the chief executive, a council official appointed by the Public Appointments Service (formerly by the Local Appointments Commission). Except on a handful of occasions where the city government has been suspended for not striking a rate (a level of local tax), Dublin has had a mayor for nearly eight hundred years.

The Lord Mayor resides in the eighteenth century Mansion House on Dawson Street.

A privilege enjoyed by the Lord Mayor is to receive the first car registration number in Dublin for each new year.[3]

Chain of office

The chain is the outward sign of the office of the Lord Mayor and is worn within the city when performing official civic functions, important ceremonial occasions and also as appropriate at other times, such as opening conferences, new businesses, etc.

It is also worn, at the Lord Mayor's discretion, when paying visits to such places as schools, churches and the emergency services.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin's gold chain of office was presented by King William III (William of Orange) to the City of Dublin in 1698. The chain is composed of decorative links including the Tudor rose, a harp, a trefoil shaped knot and the letter S (thought to stand for Seneschal or Steward). The previous chain was not returned by Michael Creagh, the Protestant Jacobite Lord Mayor in 1688-89.

Notable early mayors

  • Richard Muton (1229–30), Dublin's first Mayor
  • Gilbert de Lyvet (1233–34), (1235–37)[4][5][6]
  • John Drake, three times Mayor between 1401 and 1412, who led the Dubliners to victory over the O'Byrne clan of County Wicklow at the Battle of Bloody Bank in 1402.
  • Bartholomew Ball (1553–54), his widow Blessed Margaret Ball was martyred by their eldest son, Walter.
  • Walter Ball (1580–81), Commissioner for Ecclesiastical Causes – implemented the Reformation in Dublin
  • Francis Taylor (1595–96), martyred 29 January 1621
  • Sir Daniel Bellingham (1665–1666), First Lord Mayor
  • Jean Desmynieres (1666–67) and Lewis Desmynieres (1669–70), Huguenot Lord Mayors of Dublin
  • Sir Mark Rainsford (1700–01), original founder of St James' Gate (Guinness) Brewery


See also


  1. Chairman note: per section 32 of the Local Government Act, 2001: (3) Where titles are continued in accordance with subsection (1), the holders of the offices concerned shall, as appropriate, be styled— (b) in the case of Dublin City Council, in the Irish language “Ard-Mhéara Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath” and “Leas Ard-Mhéara Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath”, and in the English language “Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin” and “Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin”.
  2. "Your Council - About the Lord Mayor". Dublin City Council. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  3. "How to Reserve a Registration Number". Revenue Commissioners. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  4. Gilbert de Livet, Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland, Great Britain Public Record Office, H.S. Sweetman, 1875
  5. Registrum prioratus omnium sanctorum juxta Dublin, All Hallows' Priory, Richard Butler, 1845
  6. King Henry III to Gilbert Livet, Dublin, Histoire du Commerce et de la Navigation a Bordeaux, Francisque Michel, 1867
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