Register of Electors, [Voting Lists] Co. Clare.


Identity Statement

Reference code(s)



Register of Electors, [Voting Lists] Co. Clare.



Level of description

Item level

Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)

832 items.


Name of creator(s)

Clare County Council

Administrative / Biographical history

In consequence to the 1798 rebellion, the Act of Union, 1800 was passed. This Act
dissolved the Irish Parliament and established the Westminster Parliament in London
as the sole legislative body of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Until the early 20th century in Ireland, the right to vote was connected to some form
of property ownership (it was restricted to males until 1918). At the beginning of this
period the franchise was based mainly on the 40-shilling freeholder, but in 1829 (following Catholic Emancipation), the qualification was raised for the franchise, to possession of property to the rateable valuation of £10, a change that dramatically reduced the size of the Irish electorate by approximately eighty percent. The Reform Act of 1832 retained the £10 franchise in the counties, but also admitted some categories of leaseholder. With the Franchise Act, 1850, the vote was further broadened to include occupiers of property valued at £12 or more for county electors and £8 or more for borough electors; the borough qualification was reduced to £4 in 1868. By 1871, 16 percent of the adult male population could vote. The Representation of the People Act, 1884 gave the right to vote to all adult males who paid an annual rent of £10 or whose land holdings were valued at £10, while continuing to exclude servants, lodgers and adult men living with their parents.
The Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898 began the process of democratizing local Government in Ireland.
Under this Act all householders were entitled to vote, including women, for the first time. Ireland’s first local government elections were held on the 6th April 1899.
Women, however, were not eligible for election to local councils and it was not until, under the terms of the Local Authorities Act, 1911, that women were admitted to council membership. The last major extension to the franchise was in 1918, when
men over twenty one and women over thirty gained the vote.
The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1919 extended the system of proportional representation to twenty six town councils and urban district councils and two hundred other local authorities. This act brought the introduction of a proportional representation system of voting to Clare. Five new Electoral Areas were introduced:
Ennis (4), Ennistymon (3), Killaloe (4), Kilrush (5) and Miltown Malbay (4). The Electoral Act, 1923 entitled all citizens of the Irish Free State, above the age of
twenty-one years to be registered as a Dáil elector.
The Local Government (Extension of Franchise) Act, 1935 entitled all citizens in the Irish Free State, over the age of twenty one, to be a local government elector in their local government electoral area. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1972
reduced the minimum voting age at Dáil and Presidential elections and referendums
from twenty one years to eighteen years.

Archival history

Transferred from Ennis Court House (former circuit court office) in July 2002.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Clare County Council

Content and Structure

Scope and content

Register of all persons entitled to vote as parliamentary or Local Government Electors in the polling districts of Co. Clare from 1861-1909.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Permanent retention.


A Register of Electors is completed and bound annually and transferred to the Archives.

System of arrangement

Chronological order.

Conditions of Access and Use

Conditions governing access

This collection is open access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Open access.

Language/scripts of material


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Bound paper bundles.

Finding aids

Descriptive List

Allied Materials

Existence and location of originals

Clare County Archives


Subject / Keywords

Franchise; National Elections; Local Elections; Local Government; Clare; Catholic Franchise; Corofin; Voters, Parliamentary elections.

Description Control

Archivist's Note

Rene Franklin, Clare County Archivist

Rules or Conventions


Date(s) of descriptions