A Revolution in Government? Rural District Councils in Donegal, 1919-1925

The Culture Division of Donegal County Council has appointed Dr Ben Rogers as historian in residence as part of its Decade of Centenaries programme 2021.  Dr Rogers is currently based in the School of History, University College Dublin.

Dr Rogers is researching two of the County Archives Collections - The Joseph Murray Collection and selected Rural & Urban District Council minute books from 1918 – 1925.  Both these collections, spanning the first two decades of the 20th century, have been digitised and are online.

This talk will examine how the Rural District Councils in Donegal responded to the political upheaval that occurred between 1919 and 1925. It will focus on whether a ‘parallel political War of Independence’ occurred within these bodies prior to their abolition in 1925. 

The talk will cover five points including; the background to the councils and the services that they provided, how the councils responded to major political issues prior to the June 1920 local elections, an assessment of the contribution of Sinn Féin to local government after June 1920, and an examination of how the demands for revolutionary change in Donegal frequently clashed with the practicalities of everyday government. The talk will then conclude by addressing why the Rural District Councils were abolished in 1925 and why Donegal opposed this move. Overall, the talk will show that the changes in local government in Donegal were just as important as the military conflict during this formative period. 

This talk is FREE and will be available via zoom.