Proposals agreed by party whips mean that the number of full council meetings, which are open to the public and media, will be halved from two a month to just one.
Regular local area meetings to reflect the enlarged city, following last week’s boundary extension, will also be held in private.
Council sources say the new system is being introduced to stop “grandstanding” from certain councillors to the public gallery and to increase productivity.
However, the new system appears to conflict with the policy of Cork County Council, where district meetings for its electoral wards are fully open to the public.
Former county councillor Mary Rose Desmond (FF), who was elected to the city council last month, said holding meetings in private will alienate the public from local government.
“I would be wholly opposed to this governing behind closed doors,” Ms Desmond said.
“I don’t know what anyone would be afraid of. Councillors are entitled to have their view heard by the public and the media because that’s the only opportunity they have. We talk about people being disengaged from politics and the low turnouts to local elections but this will remove people even further from it again. We have to be accountable and answerable,” Ms Desmond added.