Intro Text 

Office of An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council


An Cathaoirleach is the First Citizen of the County, taking precedence over all others, except the President, when attending events or functions within the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

An Cathaoirleach is elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) every June and serves for a one year term. The responsibilities of An Cathaoirleach include the following:

  • Chairing of Council Meetings
  • Representing the Council at local, national and international events
  • Bestowing Civic Honours on groups and citizens within the County
  • The awarding of Cathaoirleach’s Awards to groups and citizens from within the County


An Leas-Cathaoirleach is also elected at the Council AGM every June. They deputise for An Cathaoirleach in the event that they are unable to attend a meeting or event.


Current Office Holder

Councillor Mary Hanafin was elected Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council at the Council’s AGM held on June 13th, 2022. Councillor Hanafin, a representative of Fianna Fáil, was first elected to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2014 as a Councillor for the Blackrock Ward and has an extensive history in politics at a national and local level.

With a long family tradition in local politics, including her grandfather, father, aunt, and cousin, Councillor Hanafin first entered politics as a Councillor with the then Dublin Corporation in the mid 1980’s. Following election as a TD for Dún Laoghaire in 1997, she served at the cabinet table in a variety of roles until 2011; including Minister for Children, Minister for Education & Science, Minister for Social & Family Affairs, Minister for Tourism, Culture & Sport and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment.

The current Leas-Cathaoirleach is Councillor Michael Clark, a member of the Fianna Fáil party and Councillor for the Killiney-Shankill Ward.

Chain of Office

During their term, An Cathaoirleach wear the official Chain of Office when representing the Council. The chain was created in 1994 and is multiple links of 9ct gold bound to a 9ct gold pendant crest of Dún Laoghaire. The chain has multiple symbols which represent the following:

  • Shamrock: This is from the seal of Rathdown no. 1 Rural District Council (harks back to the old Barony of Rathdown).
  • Viking ship: The ship represents the Viking associations of this coastal and maritime area, which later came to also represent trade.
  • The Irish crown: Pre-independence versions of the crest had a crown representing British imperial connections with the name Kingstown. This was later changed to a more jagged type of crown to reference those thought to be worn by Irish kings such as King Laoghaire.
  • Oak branch with acorns: This represents the ancient wooded nature of the entire county and the aspiration for conservation of the natural environment.
  • Mountain / hill (the triangle): This represents the hills and part of the Dublin mountains to the south and south-west of the county.
  • The Sea: The sea represents the maritime tradition of the County and its importance for trade and recreation. It also represents the common coastline of the two former administrative areas unified by the Council.