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Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971


Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971

Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971
Long title An Act to provide that Northern Ireland shall be divided into twenty-six local government districts and that each of those districts shall be divided into wards; to appoint a Commissioner to make recommendations regarding the boundaries and names of those districts and wards and the number of wards in each district; and for purposes connected therewith.
Chapter 1971 c. 9
Royal Assent 23 March 1971
Other legislation
Related legislation Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, Local Government (Boundaries) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006
Repealing legislation Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 2008
Status: Repealed

The Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 was an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, passed in 1971 to replace the previous system of local authorities established by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898. The system was based on the recommendations of the Macrory Report, of June 1970, which presupposed the continued existence of the Government of Northern Ireland to act as a regional-level authority.

Northern Ireland was to be divided into twenty-six local government districts, each consisting of a number of wards. The Act did not define the Districts exactly, but provided a list of 26 existing local government areas which would form the basis of the pattern. It then gave the Governor of Northern Ireland the power to appoint a Local Government Boundaries Commissioner who was to report with proposed names and boundaries not later than 30 June 1972.

The Commissioner's proposals were put into effect by the Local Government (Boundaries) Order (Northern Ireland) 1972, dated 17 July 1972.[1]

The 1971 Act created districts, but did not make provision for councils to govern them. This was done by the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. The councils created by the latter Act came into existence on 1 October 1973.


  • Local government districts and wards 1
  • Changes and repeal 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Local government districts and wards

The following list shows the original names of the twenty-six local government districts. A number have since changed their name or gained borough or city status under the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. Also shown are the wards into which each local government district was divided. In the 1972 local government Act it stated "It shall be taken that each ward shall return one member to the council of the district in which it is situated", however by the time the first elections were held on 30 May 1973, a system of proportional representation using multi-member district electoral areas had been introduced. The electoral areas consisted of groupings of between four and eight wards, with a number of councillors being elected for each area equal to the number of wards. The wards were subsequently used as building blocks for other units such as constituencies, and census statistics have been compiled for them.

Existing area named in Act District Name No. of Wards Names of Wards
Antrim urban district electoral division Antrim 15 Aldergrove, Balloo, Ballycraigy, Ballyrobin, Cranfield, Crumlin, Drumanaway, Massereene, Parkgate, Parkhall, Randalstown, Stiles, Tardree, Templepatrick, Toome
Armagh urban district Armagh 20 Ballymartrim, Carrigatuke, Charlemont, Demesne, Derrynoose, Downs, Hockley, Keady, Killeen, Killylea, Laurelvale, Lisanally, Loughgall, Lurgyvallen, The Mall, Markethill, Milford, Poyntz Pass, Richhill, Tandragee
Ballycastle urban district Moyle 16 Armoy, Ballintoy, Ballylough, Bushmills, Carnmoon, Dalriada, Dunseverick, Glenaan, Glenariff, Glendun, Glenshesk, Kinbane, Knocklayd, Moss-side, Quay, Rathlin
Ballymena borough Ballymena 21 Ahoghill, Ballee, Ballykeel, Ballyloughan, Broughshane, Galgorm, Castle Demesne, Craigywarren, Cullybackey, Dunclug, Dunminning, Fair Green, Glenravel, Glenwhirry, Grange, Harryville, Kells, Park, Portglenone, Slemish, Waveney
Ballymoney urban district Ballymoney 16 Ballyhoe and Corkey, Benvardin, Castlequarter, Clogh Mills, Dervock, Dunloy, Fairhill, The Hills, Killoquin Lower, Killoquin Upper, Kilraghts, Newhill, Seacon, Stranocum, Town Parks, The Vow
Banbridge urban district Banbridge 15 Annaclone, Ballydown, Ballyoolymore, Central, Croob, Dromore, Drumadonnell, Edenderry, Garran, Gilford, Lawrencetown, Loughbrickland, Quilly, Seapatrick, Skeagh
Bangor borough North Down 20 Ballyholme, Ballymagee, Bangor Castle, Bangor Harbour, Bryansburn, Churchill, Clandeboye, Conlig, Craigavad, Crawfordsburn, Cultra, Groomsport, Holywood Demesne, Holywood Priory, Loughview, Princetown, Rathgael, Silverstream, Springhill, Whitehill
Belfast county borough Belfast 51 Andersonstown, Ardoyne, Ballygomartin, Ballyhackamore, Ballymacarret, Ballynafeigh, Ballysillan, Bellevue, Belmont, Bloomfield, Cavehill, Castleview, Central, Cliftonville, Clonard, Court, Cromac, Crumlin, Donegall, Duncairn, Falls, Finaghy, Fortwilliam, Grosvenor, Grove, Highfield, Island, Ladybrook, Legoniel, Malone, Milltown, The Mount, New Lodge, North Howard, Orangefield, Ormeau, Rosetta, St. George's, St. James, Shandon, Shankill, Stormont, Stranmillis, Suffolk, Sydenham, University, Upper Malone, Whiterock, Willowfield, Windsor, Woodvale
Carrickfergus borough Carrickfergus 15 Blackhead, Boneybefore, Castle, Clipperstown, Eden, Knockagh, Love Lane, Lower Greenisland, Middle Greenisland, Northland, Sunnylands, Trooperslane, Victoria, Whitehead, Woodburn
Castlereagh district electoral division Castlereagh 19 Ballyhanwood, Beechill, Carrowreagh, Cregagh, Carryduff, Downshire, Dundonald, Enler, Four Winds, Gilnahirk, Hillfoot, Lisnasharragh, Lower Braniel, Minnowburn, Moneyreagh, Newtownbreda, Tullycarnet, Upper Braniel, Wynchurch
Coleraine borough Coleraine 20 Agivey, Ballywillin, Castlerock, Central, Churchland, Cross Glebe, The Cuts, Dhu Varren, Dunluce, Garvagh, Kilrea, Knockantern, Macosquin, Mount Sandel, Portrush, Portstewart, Ringsend, Strand, University, Waterside
Cookstown urban district Cookstown 15 Ardboe, Coagh, Dunamore, Gortalowry, Killycoply, Lissan, The Loop, Moneymore, Newbuildings, Oaklands, Old Town, Pomeroy, Sandholes, Stewartstown, Tullagh
Craigavon urban district Craigavon 25 Aghagallon, Annagh, Bachelors Walk, Belle Vue, The Birches, Bleary, Breagh, Brownlow, Brownstown, Church, Court, Edgarstown, Hartfield, Kernan, Killycomain, Kinnegoe, Knocknashane, Magheralin, Mourneview, Parklake, Taghnevan, Tavanagh, Waringstown, Woodside, Woodville
Downpatrick urban district Down 20 Ardglass, Audley's Acre, Ballymaglave, Castlewellan, Cathedral, Crossgar, Derryboy, Donard, Dundrum, Dunmore, Killough, Killyleagh, Kilmore, Market, Quoile, Saintfield, Seaforde, Shimna, Strangford, Tollymore
Dungannon urban district Dungannon 20 Altmore, Augher, Aughnacloy, Ballygawley, Benburb, Caledon, Castlecaulfield, Clogher, Coalisland North, Coalisland South, Donaghmore, Drumglass, Fivemiletown, Killymaddy, Killyman, Killymeal, Lisnahull, Moy, Moygashel, Washing Bay
Enniskillen borough Fermanagh 20 Ballinamallard, Belcoo and Belmore, Belleek and Boa, Brookeborough, Castlecoole, Derrygonnelly, Derrylin, Devenish, Erne, Florencecourt and Kinawley, Garrison, Irvinestown, Kesh Ederny and Lack, Lisbellaw, Lisnaskea, Maguire's Bridge, Newtownbutler, Rosslea, Rossorry, Tempo
Larne borough Larne 15 Antiville, Ballycarry, Ballyloran, Blackcave, Carncastle, Carnlough, Central, Craigy Hill, Gardenmore, Glenarm, Glynn, Harbour, Island Magee, Kilwaughter, Town Parks
Limavady urban district Limavady 15 Aghanloo, Binevenagh, Coolessan, Dungiven, Feeny, Forest, Glack, Gresteel, The Highlands, Magilligan, Myroe, Rathbrady, Roeside, Upper Glenshane, Walworth
Lisburn borough Lisburn 23 Ballymacbrennan, Blaris, Collin, Derryaghy, Dromara, Drumbo, Dunmurry, Glenavy, Hilden, Hillhall, Hillsborough, Knockmore, Lagan Valley, Lambeg, Lisnagarvey, Magheragall, Magheralave, Maze, Moira, Old Warren, Seymour Hill, Tonagh, Tullyrusk
Londonderry county borough Londonderry 27 Altnagelvin, Banagher, Beechwood, Brandywell, Caw, Claudy, Clondermot, Creggan Central, Creggan South, Crevagh, Culmore, The Diamond, Ebrington, Eglinton, Enagh, Faughan, Pennyburn, Prehen, Riverside, Rosemount, St. Columb's, Shantallow, Springtown, Strand, Victoria, Waterloo, Wells, Westland
Magherafelt district electoral division Magherafelt 15 Ballymaguigan, Bellaghy, Castledawson, Draperstown, Gulladuff, Knockloughrim, Lecumpher, Lower Glenshane, Maghera, Swatragh, Tobermore, Town Parks East, Town Parks West, Upperlands, Valley
Newry urban district Newry and Mourne 30 Annalong, Ballybot, Ballycrossan, Belleek, Bessbrook, Binnian, Camlough, Clonallan, Cranfield, Creggan, Crossmaglen, Daisy Hill, Derrymore, Donaghmore, Drumalane, Drumgath, Drumgullion, Fathom, Forkhill, Kilkeel, Lisnacree, Mourne, Newtownhamilton, Rathfriland, Rostrevor, St. Mary's, St. Patrick's, Seaview, Spelga, Tullyhappy, Windsor Hill
Newtownabbey urban district Newtownabbey 21 Ballyclare, Ballyeaston, Ballyhenry, Ballynure, Bradan, Carnmoney, Cloughfern, Coole, Doagh, Dunanney, Glengormley, Hopefield, Jordanstown, Mallusk, Monkstown, Mossgrove, Mossley, Rostulla, Whiteabbey, Whitehouse, Whitewell
Newtownards borough Ards 17 Ballyhalbert, Ballygowan, Carrowdore, Central, Comber North, Comber South, Donaghadee North, Donaghadee South, Glen, Greyabbey, Killinchy, Kircubbin, Loughries, Movilla, Portaferry, Scrabo, Ulsterville
Omagh urban district Omagh 20 Beragh, Carrickmore, Clanabogan, Dergmoney, Dromore, Drumquin, Drumnakilly, Drumragh, East, Fairgreen, Fairy Water, Fintona, Gortin, Killyclogher, Newtownsaville, Owenglen, Sixmilecross, Strule, Trillick, West
Strabane urban district Strabane 20 Artigarvan, Castlederg, Clare, Dunnamanagh, East, Finn, Glenderg, Newtownstewart, North, Plumbridge, Sion Mills, Slievekirk, South, Victoria Bridge, West

† Although Craigavon urban district is listed in Schedule 1 of the Act, no such local government area existed. It appears to refer to the designated area of Craigavon New Town, which included the municipal boroughs of Lurgan and Portadown.

Changes and repeal

The areas established by the Act were reviewed on a number of occasions: in 1985 the number of wards was increased from 524 to 562. In 1993 the number of wards was again increased to 582, and in 1993 the ward of Rathfriland was transferred from Newry and Mourne to Banbridge district. There were also minor boundary changes, such as the transfer of rural parts of Legoniel from Belfast to Antrim in 1985.

In 1984 the name of Londonderry District was changed to Derry, and in 1999 Dungannon District was renamed Dungannon and South Tyrone.

The Act was repealed by the Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.


  1. ^ Belfast Gazette, 28 July 1972 No.2800 p.288

External links

  • Text of the Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database
  • Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 from CAIN Web Service
  • Review Body on Local Government in Northern Ireland 1970 (Macrory Report) from CAIN Web Service
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