The inaugural meeting of Fingal County Council took place 25 years ago in 1994

The inaugural meeting of Fingal County Council took place on this day, 7th of January, 25 years ago in 1994 in Newbridge House, Donabate as the newly established county council got up and running.

Councillor Sean Ryan, first Cathaoirleach of Fingal, meets Davy Byrne, the first County Manager of Fingal County Council, at the inaugural meeting.

It was here that councillors and key staff of the new council gathered for the first time. This meeting saw Councillor Sean Ryan elected as the first Cathaoirleach of Fingal. The first County Manager of Fingal was Davy Byrne.

A specially designed chain of office to be worn by the Cathaoirleach was commissioned on November 2, 1993, for Fingal County Council. Renowned goldsmith Patrick Flood designed a chain in nine-carat gold with a Shield showing four symbols associated with the new county – the Raven, Wheat, a Cross and a Boat. It was presented to the first Cathaoirleach, Councillor Sean Ryan, at the inaugural meeting.

Councillors and key staff of Fingal County Council meet for the first meeting of Fingal County Council outside Newbridge House, Donabate

Fingal County Council was created after the 1993 Local Government Act which abolished the previous local authority, Dublin County Council. Fingal took over the administrative duties from Dublin County Council of the area composing of the old county of Fingal. The areas falling under its authority included the likes of Swords, Balbriggan, Blanchardstown, Castleknock, Howth, Skerries, Donabate, and Malahide. Dublin Airport also came under the authority of the council, providing a significant economic block for the area.

Since that first meeting, Fingal has grown for the council and area. The population of the county in 1994 was close to 150,000 people, but according to the last Census in 2016, the figure has nearly doubled and now has a population closer to 300,000 people.

The 24 councillors that took their seats for Fingal County Council in 1994 were:


• Ken Farrell

• Trevor Sargent

• Cathal Boland

• Sean Gilbride

• Jack Larkin


• Sean Ryan

• Tom Kelleher

• Cyril Gallagher

• Anne Devitt


• Joe Higgins

• Marian McGennis

• Michael O’Donovan


• V. Wright

• Nora Owen

• Michael Kennedy

• Bernie Malone


• Michael J. Cosgrave

• Joan Maher

• Liam Creavan

• David Healy


• Sean Lyons

• Tom Morrissey

• Sheila Terry

• Ned Ryan

In March 1994, a poll was conducted which asked the people of Fingal what they thought about the new council. It showed that 39 per cent of the population believed that the new council would serve the people better. In 2017, Fingal County Council ran a Residential Satisfaction Survey which showed that 64 per cent of the county was satisfied with Fingal County Council and the services which we provide to the community.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin, said: “This year, 2019, we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary as a council. Since the creation of Fingal County Council in 1994, the county has grown in many ways. The 25th anniversary is a great opportunity to take stock of where we began, the progress we have made, and the opportunities we can develop in the future. The great work of the council and all of the staff throughout those years has made Fingal one of the best places to work and live in Ireland.”

Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid added: “In 2019, Fingal County Council will celebrate its 25th year since its foundation in 1994. Also, in May of 2019, we will see new elections for a new council that will serve in the period 2019 till 2024. In this regard, I would like to thank all of the elected members who served on this council since the period of 2014.”