Kerry County Council

Kerry County Council
Comhairle Contae Chiarraí
Coat of arms or logo
Pat McCarthy, FG
Seats 33
Political groups

Council Control (11)

Council Opposition (22)

Last election
23 May 2014
Meeting place
Áras an Chontae, Rathass, Tralee[1]
The area governed by the council

Kerry County Council (Irish: Comhairle Contae Chiarraí) is the authority responsible for local government in County Kerry, Ireland. As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. The council has 33 elected members. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the title of cathaoirleach.[2] The county administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Moira Murrell. The county town is Tralee.[1]


1898 to 1922

Kerry County Council was created by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, of which Ireland formed a part at that time. The 1898 act introduced elected county councils to Ireland, following their establishment in England and Wales in 1889 and Scotland in 1890.[3] The first election was held on 6 April 1899, and the council first met on 22 April. The first council had 30 members. Of these, 22 were directly elected for single-member county electoral divisions. The remainder of the council consisted of the chairmen of the 6 rural district councils, who were ex officio members and an additional 2 members who were chosen by co-option.[3] The council initially met in the former Grand Jury room of the County Courthouse in Nelson Street (now Ashe Street) in Tralee, and elections of the entire council were held every three years.[3]

In January 1910 the council moved its headquarters to a purpose-built county hall on Godfrey Place. The method of election was changed to proportional representation under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1919, with the first elections under the new system held on 2 June 1920. The election took place during the Irish War of Independence, and control of the council was won by Sinn Féin.[4] The building was set on fire by British Black and Tans during the "Siege of Tralee" of November 1920.[5]


Ashe Memorial Hall

Following the independence of the Irish Free State, responsibility for local government was taken by the new government. During the Irish Civil War, the government used its powers to dissolve the council in May 1923, with a commissioner appointed to conduct the business of the council. A new council was elected in May 1926.[3] The council moved to new premises, the Ashe Memorial Hall, Denny Street, Tralee in March 1928.[3] In September 1930 the council was again dissolved and a commissioner appointed. Following the election of a Fianna Fáil government, the Councillors displaced in 1930 were restored to office in May 1932.[3]

In 1942 the number of Councillors was reduced from 30 to 26. At the same time the county management system was introduced.[3] The council was again dissolved in May 1945, with elections resuming in October 1948. In 1953 the term of office for Councillors was increased from 3 to 5 years, and in 1985 the number of Councillors was increased to the present number of 27.[3] In January 1989 the council moved to Áras an Chontae, Rathass.[3]

The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment.[6]


The 2014 local elections were held on 23 May 2014. These elections were held following the changes effected by the Local Government Reform Act 2014. The act abolished town councils and introduced municipal districts. County Kerry was divided into four municipal districts, which are identical with the local electoral areas (LEA) used for election of Councillors. The number of County Councillors was increased from 27 to 33 and the allocation of Councillors is as follows:[7]

LEA Seats District
Killarney 8 Municipal District of Killarney
Listowel 7 Municipal District of Listowel
South and West Kerry 9 Municipal District of South and West Kerry
Tralee 9 Municipal District of Tralee

2014 seats summary

Party Seats
Fianna Fáil 9
Fine Gael 9
Sinn Féin 5
Labour Party 2
Kerry Independent Alliance 1
Independent 7

Councillors by electoral area

This list reflects the order in which Councillors were elected on 23 May 2014.[8]

Council members from 2014 election
Local electoral area Name Party
Killarney Danny Healy-Rae Independent
Michael Gleeson Kerry Independent Alliance
Brendan Cronin Independent
John Joe Culloty Fianna Fáil
Bobby O’Connell Fine Gael
Donal O'Grady Independent
John Sheahan Fine Gael
Niall Kelleher Fianna Fáil
Listowel John Brassil Fianna Fáil
Robert Beasley Sinn Féin
Aoife Thornton Fine Gael
Dianne Nolan Sinn Féin
Liam Purtill Fine Gael
Jimmy Moloney Fianna Fáil
Mike Kennelly Fine Gael
South and West Kerry Johnny Healy-Rae Independent
Michael Cahill Independent
Michael D O'Shea Fianna Fáil
Dan McCarthy Independent
Norma Moriarty Fianna Fáil
Séamus Cosaí Fitzgerald Fine Gael
Patrick Connor Scarteen Fine Gael
Damian Quigg Sinn Féin
John Francis Flynn Fianna Fáil
Tralee Toiréasa Ferris Sinn Féin
Pa Daly Sinn Féin
Norma Foley Fianna Fáil
Terry O'Brien Labour Party
Jim Finucane Fine Gael
Pat McCarthy Fine Gael
Thomas McEllistrim Fianna Fáil
Graham Spring Labour Party
Sam Locke Independent

See also


  1. 1 2 "Contact Us". Kerry County Council. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  2. "Brassil elected as Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council". Radio Kerry News. Radio Kerry. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Quirke, Michael P (1999). "Centenary of Local Government - Kerry County Council". The Kerry Magazine. Tralee: Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society (10): 4–6. ISSN 0085-2503.
  4. Lucey, Seán (19 May 2010). "The Poor Law and Local Government in county Kerry, 1850-1921". Economic and Social Research Council. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  5. Barrington, T J (1999) [1976]. Discovering Kerry. Its History, Heritage and Topgraphy (2 ed.). Cork: The Collins Press. p. 127. ISBN 1-898256-71-3.
  6. "All Services". Kerry County Council. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  7. "S.I. No. 51/2014 - County of Kerry Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2014". Irish Statute Book. Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  8. "2014 Local elections: Kerry County Council". RTÉ News. Retrieved 5 June 2014.

External links

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