Wicklow County Council came into being in 1899 as a result of the Local Government Act 1898. This Act had a profound effect on the administration of the country. The previous Grand Jury and Board of Guardians systems were dominated by large landowners, and the creation of county councils was the promise of a fairer system of administration in which local people could influence decisions. The county councils were an important instrument in establishing democratic local government in Ireland for the first time, and in trying to improve social conditions for the people of the country.
A broad range of information is available in the minute books of Wicklow County Council, as well as the various town and rural councils, relating not only to its work but also to events of local and national significance. They are a wonderfully rich archival source illustrating the various aspects of local administration and democratic government during one of the most significant periods in Irish history. Resolutions of the councils give an insight into national and international events and contain an important record of local views of these events.
Minute books available in the archive include:
Wicklow County Council
Rural District Councils
Urban District Councils (& preceeding Town Commissioners)