An Cathaoirleach

If you wish to contact the Cathaoirleach’s Office you can do so by emailing or phoning 01-2047057

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 Denis O'Callaghan was elected Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council at the Council’s AGM held on June 12th, 2023. Councillor O'Callaghan, a representative of the Labour Party, was first elected to Dublin County Council In 1991 and he has since been re-elected at each local election. A native of County Cork, he moved to Dublin in 1965 and lives in Shankill. 

Councillor O’Callaghan is a retired postal worker with a long and distinguished career. He was elected a Worker Director in An Post in a national ballot of postal staff in 1988 and was active in the Communications Workers Union during his working life. Councillor O'Callaghan joined the Union in 1969 and is to this day a proud retired member. He participated in the long postal strike for better wages for all postal workers in 1979.

He was previously elected Cathaoirleach of DLR in 2007/2008 and served as Leas-Cathaoirleach in 2006/2007. As an elected Labour Councillor, Denis serves on various committees including the Dún Laoghaire Area Committee, Joint Policing Committee, Housing, Economic Development & Cultural SPC’s. He is also a board member of Southside Partnership.

The current Leas-Chathaoirleach is Councillor Eva Elizabeth Dowling, a member of the Green party and Councillor for the Stillorgan Local Electoral 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.

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