Waterford County was one of the earliest counties established by the writ of John, King of England and Wales and Lord of Ireland. In the medieval period a County Sheriff appointed by royal authority administered the County. The County Sheriff was assisted in the administration of the County by the Grand Jury, the members of whom he chose. The Grand Jury of Waterford County consisted of a number of the larger local landowners in Waterford.
Under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898 the Grand Juries ceased to exist and the functions of the Grand Jury were taken over by Waterford County Council. The local electorate elected the members of Waterford County Council. In 1898 the local electorate consisted of the parliamentary electorate and also women and peers. The parliamentary electorate were property owners, occupiers of property who paid rates direct or through the landowner as an addition to rent and any lodger paying more than £10 rent per annum.
Waterford County Council met quarterly in the early days and as the business of the council increased so too did the meetings of the Council until they met, as they do now, once a month. The matters dealt with at these meetings are detailed in the Minute Books. A broad range of information is available in the Minute Books of Waterford County Council relating not only to the work of the County Council but also to events of local and national significance. The development of Waterford County and the services provided by Waterford County Council can be traced in the Minute Books. The development of the infrastructure of Waterford County can clearly be followed in the details of road works and other vital services in the County.
Resolutions of the County Council give an insight into national and international events. The Minute Books contain an important record of local views of these events. The resolutions of the Council in relation to the 1916 Rising are a clear indication of the change of heart experienced throughout Ireland (WCC/1/3). During the War of Independence the Council made their loyalty to Dáil Éireann clear and as a result suffered a loss of funding from the Local Government Board (WCC/1/4-5). The Council does not hesitate to give its views on international events such as the Boer War, World Wars I and II, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Russia. Reference can be found to the increase of motor traffic on the roads, the development of the Tourism Industry and the closure of the Railway Stations that at one time were dotted throughout every town in Ireland.
Archival History ↴
The Minute Books are largely complete and were stored by the County Secretary and are official transfers. However, the Minutes for the period 9 June 1948 to 28 May 1956 were taken to the Dungarvan Courthouse for an audit and remained in the Courthouse Store until being taken into the Archives Service in 1999.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Waterford County Council ↴
Collection details the Councillors present at each meeting. Records the annual election of a Chairman and Vice-Chairman and the appointment of Rate Collectors. Contains reports from the County Surveyor and committees such as the Finance Committee and Roads Committee. Records the proposals for works, works carried out, contracts, tenders for new works and payments made by the Council. Details the vacancies and resignations in the Council and refers on occasion to the staff of the County Council. Records the correspondence of the Council and their resolutions, resolutions of sympathy and resolutions made with regard to matters of local, national and international significance. Details the financial relationship of the Council with other local authorities such as the Dungarvan Urban District Council, including demands from the Urban District Council. On 22 May 1934 the last meeting of the Council was held before it was dissolved and the work of the County Council was undertaken by S.J. Moynihan who was appointed Commissioner by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, Sean T. O’Kelly (WCC/1/8). The County Council returned to office on 2 September 1942 with S.J. Moynihan as the newly appointed County Manager (WCC/1/9).
The Minutes are recorded in bound volumes until 31 May 1948 (WCC/1/1-10) when they are recorded on typewritten sheets (WCC/1/11). Includes a resolution deploring “…the recent attempt at insurrection in Dublin…” in 1916 (WCC/1/3) and a pledge acknowledging the authority of Dáil Éireann on 18th June 1920 (WCC/1/4). Also contains discussions on matters such as, an outbreak of paratyphoid fever in Dungarvan in 1959 (WCC/1/16) and the closure of the railways and stations serving Waterford City and County (WCC/1/14) and on planning decisions and disputes. Lists the recipients of Scholarships and of War Pensions. Contains records of deputations to the Council meetings.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
Further additions anticipated
The Minute Books have been arranged in date order with occasional reference to a resolution of note made by the Council.
Minutes copied on microfilm. Some resolutions digitised.
IE/WCA/WCC/GNA Waterford County Council General Administration Collection
IE/WCA/WCC/PLN Waterford County Council Town and Regional Planning Collection
Descriptive Control Area
IGAD: Irish Guidelines for Archival Description. Dublin: Society of Archivists, Ireland, 2009.
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.