Rural District Councils

Rural District Councils were established under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898. Sanitary districts had been formed under earlier Acts and the Board of Guardians was the sanitary authority in rural areas. In 1899 these districts generally became rural districts each with a rural district council. They were given the sanitary functions of the boards of guardians in the rural parts of the county and in towns with town commissioners, but not in urban district councils. They also took over the roads and public works functions of the grand juries where the cost had been borne by the district, and the housing functions of the boards of guardians. In the early years of county councils, much of the routine business was transacted through the rural district councils. The Local Government Act, 1925, abolished the rural district councils and their duties were transferred to county councils. The sanitary and housing functions were discharged by the county councils through the county boards of health. The rural district council's archives are very important as they provide information about the detailed workings of democratic local government in the years after its inception. The Archives Service and Millmount Museum in Drogheda have various archives of rural district councils. All of these archives are preserved and any of those that may contain personal information are closed from access.

For the Rural District Councils descriptive list, go to the 'Advanced Search' tab on the 'Search' page of our online catalogue and type in the collection code RDC/ into the 'Reference' field and click 'search'. Your results will contain the list of archives for the three rural district councils in Louth.

  • To see Ardee rural district council's only, type in RDC/ARD/
  • To see Dundalk rural district council's only, type in RDC/DLK/
  • To see Drogheda rural district council's only, type in RDC/DRO/


     Certificate of completion of works, Dundalk RDC, 1909