An introduction to the districts of Dublin The River Liffey flows through the centre of Dublin dividing it in two. Traditionally, the north side of the river was home to the city’s working class residents, while the south side was associated with Dublin’s middle and upper classes. However, this is changing as neighbourhoods like Smithfield, Stoneybatter and Clontarf to the north become gentrified. Today, the county would be more accurately described as having a west-east division. Although there isn’t any river drawing a line between the two areas, the east side of Dublin is generally considered to be more affluent – particularly along the coast.
Dublin city stretches across 115km², with the county itself covering 921km². While it’s not the biggest area, as Ireland’s capital city, it has a lot going on – which is why it’s split into four local authorities: Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
Councils (Local Authorities)
Councils are populated by democratically elected public representatives, with local elections taking place every five years in the early summer. Each council is run by a chief executive and has control within its administrative area, including responsibility for a range of local services like roads, environmental protection and recreational facilities or amenities. In short, the council is responsible for an area’s social, economic, environmental, recreational, cultural, community or general development.
On a day-to-day basis, you probably won’t have many dealings with your local authority. However, there are some areas where you will need to get in touch: for example, seeking planning permission, paying for permits or fines (e.g. litter fines, parking permits), applying for funding or seeking information about social housing. You can find out about these and more functions of your council by visiting the pages linked above.
There are plenty of options for getting from A to B in Dublin. It is a fairly compact city, which means walking and cycling are viable options. You can walk from many of the city’s outlying districts to its centre in around 30 or 40 minutes. But the public transport in Dublin is pretty good too. It’s one of the benefits that comes with living in the city. Public transport Getting around Dublin by bus Dublin Bus connects most parts of the city through a network of over 100 routes.
Dublin-born icon, Oscar Wilde wrote, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious!" If there's one thing that's central to Dubliners, it's the dry wit you'll find here; the tongue-in-cheek, good-hearted humour that makes teasing just as much a sign of the welcome as it is part of the vernacular. The biggest draw to Dublin has to be its people. They’re the reason the city was recently voted in the top 10 friendliest cities in the world; why it has the greatest nightlife; why its art and culture is some of the most influential and vibrant to be found anywhere.