In the unsettled conditions of 1923 and 1924 Central Government found it necessary to remove the members of several local authorities and replace them temporarily by paid commissioners.
Among the bodies removed were the Dublin and Cork city councils. After some experience of the work of the commissioners in these cities there was a body of opinion in favour of retaining the commissioners after the elected council was restored.
A local committee of commercial and industrial interests was formed in Cork in 1926 to consider a scheme of city government and it appeared that the council-manager plan of city government would be acceptable. After discussion between the Minister and local representatives, the Minister, Richard Mulcahy, introduced as a Government measure The Cork City Management Bill, 1929 and it became law despite at times, vehement opposition. Dublin city got its Management Act in 1930 and was followed by Limerick in 1934 and Waterford in 1939.
The system was extended to the entire country by the County (Management) Act, 1940, which was brought into operation in August 1942.
The application was not from any arranged plan but came from a process of gradual evolution under different governments. The City and County Management (Amendment) Act, 1955, made some adjustments to give greater power to the council members.