Grand Juries were in existence since Norman times. Landowners made up the Grand Jury itself, selected by the Sheriff of the County. Grand Juries had no corporate existence. They were discharged by the Judge of Assize. Before the assizes, presentment sessions were called in each of the six baronies of Donegal, where proposals for work to be done were considered and submitted to the Grand Jury for ratification. Services provided and paid for by Grand Jury Cess, a rate payable by occupiers, included making and repair of roads and bridges, construction of courthouses and levying for support of district hospitals, schools and prisons. Donegal Grand Jury, as an administrative body, was replaced by Donegal County Council under the 1898 Local Government (Ireland) Act.
Members of the last Donegal Grand Jury, 1889
Grand Jury: Records
Grand Jury Summer Assizes, 1793