Pictured at the tree planting ceremony outside Leitrim County Council's offices in Carrick-on-Shannon are members of the council and of the executive
Last Monday, April 22, marked 120 years since the first meeting of Leitrim County Council.
The first local election was held in Ireland on April 6, 1899 and 19 representatives were elected to serve on the new Leitrim County Council.
On Tuesday, April 23, sitting members of Leitrim County Council, joined by members of the executive, planted a tree in honour of 12 decades of local government in the county.
The tree was planted on the grounds of Leitrim County Council's offices in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Last week the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, John Paul Phelan welcomed representatives of local government to the Custom House to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Ireland’s first local elections.
A department-funded visual exhibition on the history of Irish local government was also unveiled. The exhibition charts the evolution of local government’s structures and elections covers important themes including the role of women in local government.
Minister Phelan said: “Local authorities have always played a major role in providing such services and facilitating this engagement. I want to pay tribute to all who have served in local politics and worked in local government over the past 120 years.”
First members of Leitrim County Council
The first members were elected to Leitrim County Council in April 1899.
The members who attended the first meeting of Leitrim County Council on April 22, 1899 were as follows (in brackets is their electoral division): Daniel Flynn (Aghacashel); Michael Murphy (Ballinamore); Thomas McDermott
(Carrick-on-Shannon); John McLoughlin (Carrigallen); Patrick Heslin Jnr (Cloone); Thomas Fallon (Dromahair); Patrick Dolan (Drumkeeran); Patrick McManus (Drumshanbo); Patrick Faughnan (Drumsna); Thomas McGovern (Kiltyclogher); James McGurran (Kinlough); John O'Donnell (Lurganboy); James Martin (Mahanagh); Patrick Gaffney, (Manorhamilton); Patrick J Fergus (Melvin); John Newton (Mohill); James Prior (Newtowngore); Michael Curran (Riverstown) and Michael Murray (Rooskey).
In addition the chairmen of each of the five rural districts in the county were ex-officio members. These included: Arthur Johnston; Bernard Kean JP; Owen McCann JP; J McGuinness JP and Michael Reynolds JP.
The Grand Jury could nominate three members and they were HJB Clements DL; Geo Hewson JP and Manly M Palmer JP.
The council could elect two more persons as members and they were Bernard Maguire and Patrick McLoughlin.