The regional level of governance in the Republic of Ireland is among the most weakly
institutionalized in the EU when compared with other Member States. Nevertheless, under the sway of EU Regional Policy two new regional scales of governance were established in the 1990s. This paper examines the recent evolution of regional governance in Ireland with particular emphasis on the role being conferred upon Irish regional authorities to advance the implementation of sustainable development. It outlines and evaluates the impact of Structural and Cohesion Funds on sustainable development in Ireland. The paper argues that, despite mixed results, there is a simultaneous layering process occurring because of European transfers, programmes and initiatives whereby multiple ‘regions’ are coming into being linked to a concept of regional sustainable development.