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Council celebrates 120th anniversary of first meeting

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At its April Monthly Meeting this evening, Clare County Council marked the 120th anniversary of the first ever meeting of the Local Authority which took place in the Grand Jury Rooms of Ennis Courthouse on 22 April 1899.

The ceremony featured presentations by Pat Dowling (Chief Executive) and Dr. John Treacy of Clare County Council on the history and the origins of the local authority. Mr. Treacy is writing a book on the history of local government in Clare which is due for publication in May 2020.

Musical entertainment was provided by piper Blackie O’Connell in memory of the famed Clare piper, Garret Barry. The piper died on the same week that the first elections to Clare County Council were held in April 1899.

Piper Blackie O’Connell performing during a ceremony marking the 120th anniversary of the first meeting of Clare County Council. Photograph: Eamon Ward

To mark the 120th anniversary of the first meeting of Clare County Council, the original Minutes of the first meeting as well as an original copy of the Local Government Act 1898 have been placed on public display in the foyer of Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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