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The Municipal Revolution in Ireland: Local Government in Cities and Towns Since 1800


Matthew Potter

Providing an account of the role that municipal government has played in Irish life over the past two centuries, this book covers how the establishment of the modern system of urban government and the role central government took in regulating the local state for the first time.

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ISBN: 9780716531494 Categories: ,


This book provides a rich contextual account of one of the most significant revolutions in Irish history, which offers a challenging re-appraisal of the received picture of modern Ireland as an essentially rural society, and it highlights the role that municipal government has played in Irish life over the past two centuries.

Among the topics covered are how the modern system of urban government was established, and how the Irish central government began to take an active role in regulating the local state for the first time.

Under this new system, the rising Catholic bourgeoisie gained control of a significant aspect of the administrative machine for the first time, and these bodies played a pivotal role in advancing Home Rule and, later, Sinn Fein.

However, after Independence, the progress of the Municipal Revolution was stifled by the establishment of an over-centralized administrative machine dominated by a rural-based ideology that belittled the role of cities and towns in Irish life.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: General Introduction
Chapter Two: Irish Urban Government to 1800.
Chapter Three: The Eleven Case Studies.
Chapter Four: The Municipal Revolution in Ireland 1828-70
Chapter Five: The Rise of Home Rule and Municipal Socialism 1871-99
Chapter Six: The Local Government (Ireland) Act (1898) and its Aftermath 1899-1914.
Chapter Seven: Urban Government during the Irish Revolution 1916-23.
Chapter Eight: The Age of Democratic Centralism 1923-91.
Chapter Nine: The Age of Partial Reform 1991-Present
Chapter Ten: Democratic Centralism and Reform in Action 1923-Present.
Chapter Eleven: Conclusion: Was there a Municipal Revolution in Ireland?

About the Author

Matthew Potter is currently Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland (AMAI) Fellow in the History of Urban Government at University of Limerick. He has published widely in this area, and his other works include William Monsell of Tervoe 1812–94: Catholic Unionist, Anglo-Irishman. (Irish Academic Press).