County Dublin

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County Dublin (Irish: Contae Átha Cliath) is one of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland and one of the thirty-two counties of the island of Ireland. The county contains the city of Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, and is located on the east coast of Ireland in the province of Leinster.

County Dublin was one of the first of the counties of Ireland to be formally structured, in the late twelfth century by King John of England. The population of the county is 1,187,176 according to the 2006 census, making it the most populous county in the country.[1]

In 1994, County Dublin was dissolved and the area divided into the modern administrative counties of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. Today, these areas collectively make up the Dublin Region[2] (Réigiúin Átha Cliath) and come under the remit of the Dublin Regional Authority. While administration of the county has been split and the county dissolved from a political-administrative perspective, the county persists as an entity in other categories such as geography studies, postal and census services, Gaelic Athletic Association teams, and as an entity with which people continue to identify.

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Dissolution

The area held formal county status until its dissolution as such in 1994, with Section 9 Part 1(a) of the Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1993 stating that as of 1 January 1994 "the county shall cease to exist."[3] At that time, and in response to a European Council report highlighting Ireland as the most centralised country in the European Union, it was decided that a single County Dublin was unmanageable and undemocratic from a local government perspective. The county was formally abolished and replaced with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin, each with its own county seat.

In discussing the legislation to dissolve Dublin County Council, Avril Doyle, a Teachta Dála, said, "The Bill before us today effectively abolishes County Dublin, and as one born and bred in these parts of Ireland I find it rather strange that we in this House are abolishing County Dublin. I am not sure whether Dubliners realise that that is what we are about today, but in effect that is the case."[4]

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