A forgotten tier of local government – the impact of rural district councils on the landscape of early twentieth century Ireland

Arlene Crampsie


The Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898 revolutionised local government in Ireland through the introduction of democratic, representative, local self-government in the form of county councils, urban district councils and rural district councils. While the first two of these formed the basis of Irish local government in the Free State, rural district councils were abolished within three years of Irish independence, in 1925. Subsequently, these rural authorities have been almost entirely written out of Irish historiography, despite the transformation they enacted across the landscape between 1899 and 1925. This paper seeks to remedy this absence by providing an overview of the operation of this short-lived tier of local government and evaluating its impact on the landscape of early twentieth century Ireland.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2014/igj.v47i2.504

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:irg:ie:0000-igj.v47i2.5043

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:irg:ie:0000-igj.v47i2.504.g4306


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