Tipperary County Council
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Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
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Tipperary County Archives - 100 years ago April 1919

  • Extract from Minutes of Clonmel Rural Distrcit Council, 2nd April 1919
    Image of extract from Minutes of Clonmel Rural Distrcit Council, 2nd April 1919
  • Extract from Minutes of Tipperary N.R. Council, 20th August, 1919
    Image of extract from Minutes of Tipperary N.R. Council, 20th August, 1919
  • Extract from General Purposes Minute Book, Clonmel Borough Council, 21st October, 1919
    Image of extract from General Purposes Minute Book, Clonmel Borough Council, 21st October, 1919
  • Letter to Clonmel Borough Council, 1919
    Image of letter to Clonmel Borough Council, 1919
  • Extract from Minute of Clonmel Borough Council, 30th January, 1920
    Image of extract from Minute of Clonmel Borough Council, 30th January, 1920

A significant change to the political system in Ireland during 1919, was the introduction of Proportional Representation (PR), which we first see mentioned in the Tipperary Archives in April 1919, in the Minutes of Clonmel Rural District Council (2nd April) and in the incoming letters to the Council of the Borough of Clonmel (4th April). The scale of the Sinn Fein victory in the 1918 elections had shocked the British government and it sought ways to avoid a repetition of this victory. They looked at the discrepancy between Sinn Féin’s share of the vote in that election and the much higher proportion of seats they won and put this down to the “first past the post” system used in British elections. The adoption of PR was a direct response. It was trialled in municipal elections in Sligo in 1919, where Sinn Féin failed to win an overall majority. Its extension to municipal elections nationwide was legalised under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1919 and we see references to the introduction of the new PR system scattered throughout the Tipperary local government minute books in the latter part of 1919 and throughout 1920. Sinn Féin supported its introduction and undertook an active education campaign ahead of the poll. Helped by the fact that a high proportion of the electorate were first time voters when they finally did go to the polling booths in 1920 and feelings engendered by the War of Independence, Sinn Féin won a significant victory in the 1920 municipal elections, particularly in rural areas.

Monday, 29 April, 2019 - 13:00
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