Holdings Post 1898

Info! :In order to consult any of the material held you must first contact the Archives Department to make an appointment & discuss your requirements. Tel: 044 9332162

A new dispensation: the Local Government (Ireland) Act (1898)

The Local Government (Ireland) Act (1898) created a new system of County, Urban District and Rural District Councils. The first councils were elected in 1899. The Grand Juries lost all of their administrative functions.2

County Councils

County Councils were given a variety of functions, with more being added in succeeding years including road building and maintenance; housing; planning; sanitary services; and the registration of vehicles and licensing of drivers.

The minutes of Westmeath County Council

are available on microfilm as follows: 22 April 1899–19 November 1984 (gaps March 1928-June 1935; January 1937-January 1940). Extensive archives of all areas of council activity have survived, but are not yet processed and, therefore, are unavailable to the public.

Urban District Councils

Under the act, many towns including Athlone, received Urban District Councils. In 1908, they began receiving state funding for house building. The earliest minutes of Athlone U.D.C. date from 20 October 1901. There are gaps, but all extant minutes are unavailable at present because they are being microfilmed. The other archives of the council have yet to be processed.

Rural District Councils

Rural District Councils replaced the boards of guardians as sanitary authorities in rural areas, and they were also responsible for housing and public works. Councillors served as ex officio guardians. These councils were abolished in 1925.

Westmeath had six RDCs and their extant minute books are as follows:

  • Athlone: 7 October 1899–11 April 1925 (some gaps).
  • Ballymore: 8 March 1900–2 June 1902; 12 October 1905–10 December 1905; 13 February 1919–11 May 1922; 8 May 1924-3 September 1925.
  • Coole: 4 September 1899–1 June 1925 (some gaps).
  • Delvin: 17 January 1919–9 April 1920; 7 April 1922–2 March 1923.
  • Kilbeggan: 1914–1915; 1917.
  • Mullingar: 14 September 1899–2 July 1925 (a few gaps).
  • Also from Mullingar R.D.C.:
    • minutes of waterworks and sanitary committee, 9 October 1905-3 February 1922;
    • personal ledger’ detailing expenditure on water pumps, sewerage and housing, 1907-1925.

Info! : some of the Mullingar minute books are very fragile and not available to the public. The surviving financial and rates archives of the R.D.C.s are not fully processed as yet, and so are unavailable.