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Donegal County Council

Donegal County Council 


County Council Courthouse Menu

‌Menu for event marking the opening of the newly refurbished County House, 1930


County Councils were established under the 1898 Local Government (Ireland) Act. The Councils took over all the Grand Juries’ administrative duties. The first meeting of Donegal County Council took place in 1899. Many of the records of the Council are still held by individual Sections but the lists below give an indication of what is now held by the Archives Service.


Donegal County Council Records



  • 78 volumes of the minutes of meetings of the Council, 1899 – 1975. Some of the minutes of the Council are missing, including the revolutionary period from February 1916 to December 1923;
  • Minutes of meetings and reports of the Council’s various Committees, including the Finance Committee, Diseases of Animals Committee, Insurance Committee, School Attendance Committee, Scholarship Committee, Engineering Committee, Heavy Lorries Traffic Committee, General Purpose Committee, Fishing Committee, Housing Committee, and Sheep Dipping Committee; plus Piers and Air raid Precautions Committees (during the Second World War/Emergency period); and general committee meetings. It should be noted that there are not complete sets of minutes for each committee. 1900 – 1985;


Donegal Co Co Scholarships Committee

Donegal County Council Scholarship's Committee, 1936


  • County Manager’s Orders, 1949 – 1987. The County Management Act, 1940, created the position of the county manager. The County Manager creates orders on Council matters under this Act;
  • Electoral material, including Registers of Electors from the county for each electoral district and summaries of registers, 1920 – 1980’s (incomplete);


Electoral Register‌

  • Information on elections, including notices of elections, correspondence, schemes of polling districts and polling places, directions for the guidance of voters, notices of polling stations, and publication of electors' and jurors' lists 1920's -1980's;
  • Local and general elections campaigning material, including flyers, posters, leaflets, dating generally from the 1970’s, late 1990’s and early twenty-first century;


Local Election Count letter 1925

Local Election Count Letter, 1925


  • 1926 County Council file: File of correspondence relating to the Council's activities mostly during the second half of the year 1926. Includes draft resolutions, correspondence relating to resolutions, roads, salaries, personnel, finance, housing, motor tax, legal issues.



  • Finance material including abstracts of accounts, secretary’s statements, estimates of expenses, and general ledgers, 1914 - 1967 (not complete).


Motor Registration

  • Motor Tax Registers, 1903 - 1923, 1951 – 1992;
  • Registers of Annual Licences for Road Vehicles, 1970; 1974 – 1975;
  • Correspondence (16 Letters), c. 1912 – 1940.



  • Workers’ Records Insurance Cards, 1928 – 1974;
  • Staff Attendance Registers, 1900– 1912; 1935 – 1936.
    *Note: most Donegal County Council personnel records are still held by Human Resources and are confidential. 


Housing / Labourers’ Cottages

Under a series of Acts from 1883 to 1936, specifically designed to improve the living conditions of agricultural labourers, local authorities were involved in locating and compulsorily purchasing sites, building cottages and housing agricultural labourers. The Boards of Guardians, Rural District Councils, Board of Health and Public Assistance and Donegal County Council all played a role in the building of rural housing for labourers and others under these Acts and houses in urban areas under other Acts. Archival material relating to the building of houses both urban and rural are contained within the classes of records described above, and there is also a separate series of records entitled Labourers’ Cottages.

  • Labourers’ Cottages records include: 400 files/items including plans, statutory declarations that landowners had been in receipt of rents and profits of lands; abstracts of title; specifications for the erection of cottages; designs and plans of cottages, including model plans and specific plans; reports of committees appointed to select plots; conveyances; assignments and other legal deeds; correspondence between the Councils and labourers and landowners and between the Councils and the Local Government Board; architects’ reports; copies of land certificates, wills and probates; orders and notices, registers and books of reference to maps of land, correspondence, reports etc, 1890 – 1940.


Labourers Cottages Design G

Plan for Labourers' Cottages, 1906



  • Register of Dairymen. Details include name and address of dairyman; address of premises; vehicles deemed to be premises; buildings on the premises - cowshed, milk store, milk shop etc; whether milk is bottled; acreage of land in acres, roods and perches; number and nature of animals to be kept, observations; 31 March 1937 - 30 June 1994.


County Library

  • County Library archives, including reports and minutes of meetings such as the Donegal County Library Committee, the Book Selection Committee, cash receipt books, accession registers, attendance registers, manager’s orders regarding the Library Service, expenditure register, statistics register, plans and maps of libraries, 1928 – 1987.



  • Planning: applications made under the 1934 Town and Regional Planning Act, the 1963 Local Government (Planning and Development) Act and subsequent legislation. There are also Development Plans. 1934 – 1968.

    Note: Planning applications are held off site. Files must be ordered a week in advance. There is a charge for a copy of a planning decision and a charge for any copies of plans made.



Plans, drawings and maps from across the county, some deposited from old area offices. Many are as yet unlisted.

Legal Deeds

  • 200 property transactions such as leases, agreements, conveyances, deed polls, and assignments, generally between the County Council and various individuals and bodies, including railway companies, the ESB, the Boards of Guardians, landowners, RDC’s and UDC’s, mainly in relation to the acquisition of land for Council purposes- e.g., building of roads, housing, libraries, electrification, hospitals, courthouses, quarries, water supply, fire stations etc. There are also deeds relating to the disposal of land by the Council- e.g., leasing of land to individuals or organisations for a variety of reasons. Other parties in some of the legal agreements include the Commissioners for Public Works and the Land Commission.
  • 42 Legal deeds relating to harbours and piers, mainly agreements between the County Council and various organisations, including Harbour Commissioners, and individuals, on matters such as leasing part of land, or erecting a structure on harbour land. Also includes a number of harbour masters’ sureties.
  • 30 legal deeds of agreement and bond between the County Council and employees, mainly in relation to employment pay and conditions, 1905 - 1950. (Access may be restricted to some of these documents for reasons of confidentiality.)

    Note: The majority of the Donegal County Council records which have been listed and transferred to the Archives are open to the public.

However many Housing records are closed, particularly files relating to individual rented houses.