Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840

Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840
The Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Long title An Act for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations in Ireland
Statute book chapter 3 & 4 Vict. c. 108
Territorial extent Ireland
Royal Assent 10 August 1840
Commencement 25 October 1840
Other legislation
Repealing legislation Local Government Act 2001 (Ireland), Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 (Northern Ireland)
Status: Repealed

The Municipal Corporations Act (Ireland) 1840 (3 & 4 Vict. c. 108), An Act for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations in Ireland, was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 10 August 1840.

The Act followed similar lines to the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 which reformed municipal boroughs in England and Wales. Prior to the passing of the Act, there were sixty-eight borough corporations in Ireland, many of them were ineffective, some virtually defunct and none of them in any way representative of their populations. The Act dissolved all but ten of the corporations.


The Reformed Corporations

The ten reformed corporations, which were named in Schedule A to the Act were to be styled as Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses, with the exception of Dublin where the title Right Honourable Lord Mayor was retained.

Number Borough County
1 Belfast Antrim and Down
2 Clonmel Tipperary
3 Cork (County of the City) Cork
4 Drogheda (County of the Town) Louth and Meath
5 Dublin (County of the City) Dublin
6 Kilkenny (County of the City) Kilkenny
7 Limerick (County of the City) Limerick
8 Londonderry (City) Londonderry
9 Sligo Sligo
10 Waterford (County of the City) Waterford

Dissolved Boroughs

Under section 13 of the Act, the remaining 58 borough corporations were dissolved on 25 October 1840. The extinguished boroughs were listed in schedules B and I of the Act. Boroughs in schedule B could petition for a grant of a charter restoring borough status, as could any town with a population of more than 3,000. Boroughs in Schedule I were already effectively extinct at the time of the passing of the Act, and so were not permitted to apply for such a charter.

Only one town, Wexford, applied for a charter restoring borough status, which was granted in 1846.

Boroughs in Schedule B

Number Borough County
1 Ardee Louth
2 Armagh (City) Armagh
3 Athlone Roscommon and Westmeath
4 Athy Kildare
5 Bandon or Bandon Bridge Cork
6 Boyle Roscommon
7 Callan Kilkenny
8 Carlow Carlow
9 Carrickfergus (County of the Town) Antrim
10 Cashel (City) Tipperary
11 Charleville Cork
12 Cloghnakilty Cork
13 Coleraine Londonderry
14 Dingle Kerry
15 Dundalk Louth
16 Dungannon Tyrone
17 Ennis Clare
18 Enniscorthy Wexford
19 Enniskillen Fermanagh
20 Fethard Wexford
21 Galway Galway
22 Gorey Wexford
23 Kells Meath
24 Kinsale Cork
25 Longford Longford
26 Maryborough Queen's County
27 Monaghan Monaghan
28 Naas Kildare
29 Navan Meath
30 New Ross Wexford
31 Portarlington Queen's County and King's County
32 Strabane Tyrone
33 Tralee Kerry
34 Trim Meath
35 Tuam Galway
36 Wexford Wexford
37 Wicklow Wicklow
38 Youghal Cork

Boroughs in Schedule I

Number Borough County
39 Ardfert Kerry
40 Athenry Galway
41 Baltinglass Wicklow
42 Bangor Down
43 Belturbet Cavan
44 Carlingford Louth
45 Castlemartyr Cork
46 Cavan Cavan
47 Charlemont Armagh
48 Duleek Meath
49 Hillsborough Down
50 Inistioge Kilkenny
51 Kilbeggan Westmeath
52 Kildare Kildare
53 Killileagh Down
54 Kilmallock Limerick
55 Lifford Donegal
56 Middleton Cork
57 Newtownards Down
58 Thomastown Kilkenny

Town Commissioners

Many of the extinguished boroughs had an additional form of local government in place, in the form of commissioners appointed under the Lighting of Towns (Ireland) Act, 1828. Where such a body existed, it was deemed to be the successor to the corporation. Section 16 of the Act provided that any borough dissolved with property worth more than £100, and which did not have commissioners under the 1828 Act, should have a board of "Municipal Commissioners" established.


  • The Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840
  • Mark Callanan & Justin F Keogan (editors), Local Government in Ireland Inside Out, Dublin, 2003
  • Desmond Roche, Local Government in Ireland, Dublin, 1982

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