Dublin Horse Drawn Carriage & Related Legislation

Designated Hiring Stands for Carriage Horses/Hackney Carriages

  • St Stephen’s Green North Side between Dawson Street Kildare Street
  • Bellevue adjacent to Guinness Hop Store

NB: Temple Bar, Dame St and any other streets are NOT designated hiring stands.

Horses used to draw hackney carriages shall:

  • Have a temperament suitable to such work.
  • Be in physical condition suitable to such work.
  • Be of an age suitable to such work.
  • Be cared for and treated in a manner which does not cause them unnecessary suffering.
  • Not be left unattended at designated hiring stands (see below for location of designated hiring stands).
  • Be microchipped
  • Have an equine passport

Horse Licence (applicable to all horses in Dublin city/urban areas)

No person shall keep or have charge or control of a horse in a control area, without a current (horse) licence issued by Dublin City Council or other Local Authority (Cost via DCC = €31.74)

Carriage Licence

  • Issued to a proprietor of a hackney carriage for the carriage of the stated number of passengers and bearing a specific identification number.
  • Applicant pays a fee to the Council (€50)
  • Applicant provides a Certificate of Compliance from the Revenue Commissioners.

    Carriage Driver's Licence:

    • Issued by the Council to a person to act as a driver of a hackney whilst wearing a specific badge number.
    • Applicant pays a fee to the Council (€15)
    • Council assigns a badge number for each Carriage Driver's Licence which must be worn conspicuously on the driver's breast.
    • Applicant provides a letter of competence in horse and carriage handling from a recognised stables or equine centre.

      For Carriage Licences and Carriage Drivers' Licences:

      • Applicant provides proof of Public Liability Insurance covering operation of a hackney carriage (with an indemnity limit of not less than €2.6 million, noting an indemnity to the Council.
      • Applicant has Garda clearance.
      • Valid for 12 months from date of issue.
      • The Council determine how many of these they issue each year.
      • Licences are issued annually.
      • If a driver ceases to hold his/her licence, then it reverts to the Council.
      • Each licence must be renewed within 2 months of expiry (and holder must comply with bye-laws).

        Hackney Carriages

        • A proprietor shall not stand or cause or permit a hackney to be stood for hire in a public place:
          • other than at a designated hiring stand
          • The licence issued in respect of the carriage so authorises it.
          • Must be driven at a reasonable speed, which shall not exceed that which enables its driver to bring it to a halt within a distance, which the driver can see to be clear.
          • Council shall assign a number to each hackney carriage in respect of which it issues a licence.
          • Number shall be clearly displayed on the carriage.
          • A licence granted in respect of a hackney carriage shall be prominently displayed on it.
          • Must not be left unattended a designated hiring stand.
          • A hackney carriage shall not be licensed unless it is of an approved standard.
          • Hackney carriages shall not be operated without a suitable dung catcher being installed. 
          • Dung catchers shall be emptied and disposed of appropriately.
          • The proprietor of a licensed stage carriage shall cause it to be kept adequately lighted while conveying passengers within the Dublin Metropolitan Area after sunset.

        Drivers of Hackney Carriages Shall:

        • be aged not less than 16 years
        • shall not be under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance and
        • shall behave in a courteous manner

        Vet Inspection

        Following submission of a horse licence application, the Council’s veterinary officer will contact the horse owner to arrange an inspection.

        Equine Premises Number

        The premises at which a horse is ordinarily kept must have an EPN.

        Horse Stabling Standards (as per DCC Bye Laws)

        • Height = 3.7m (12ft), if sloping, lowest point = 3m(10ft).
        • Width x Length = for smaller horses, i.e up to 14 hands, 3.7 x 3m (12ft x 10ft), for horses from 14 hands up to 16 hands 3.7m x 3.7m (12 x 12ft), for larger horses i.e. over 16 hands, 3.7 x 4.3m (12ft x 14ft).
        • Roof: weatherproof, durable, non flammable, giving rise to no marked variation in temperature of stable.
        • Floor: impervious, slip proof, slope towards door of 1 in 60 to external drain. Internal surfaces of walls; impervious and easily cleaned.
        • Stable to be dry. Doors 1.2m (4ft) wide and 2.1m (7ft) height in two halves, strong and secure.
        • Top of lower half safely protected against horse chewing it. No internal protrusions in stable by which horse could injure itself. Adequate and safe lighting.
        • Adequate ventilation - minimum of 42m3 (1500 cub ft) per horse with 6 complete air changes every hour and no draughts.
        • Potable water shall be constantly available.
        • An adequate amount of wholesome and suitable food shall be supplied regularly.
        • Adequate accommodation shall be provided for storage of forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery.
        • Access to site of stable must be by means of passageway/road/street/driveway which measures at least 5 ft at its narrowest point. 


            • A person who contravenes any provision of the bye laws shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €1,900.
            • If a contravention of any provision of these bye-laws is continued after conviction, the person causing that contravention shall be guilty of an offence on each day on which that contravention continues and shall be liable on summary conviction for each such offence to a fine not exceeding €125.

            Authorised person: Garda or person nominated by the Council.
            Hackney carriage: horse drawn hackney carriage, jarvey car or jaunting car.

            References/Further Reading