Laois County Council came into being in 1899 as a result of the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898. The Act had a profound effect on the administration and political future of the country. Councils replaced the Grand Jury and Board of Guardians systems, which were dominated by the landowning class. It established a more democratic local government in which ordinary local people could participate and influence decision making.
A wide range of information is available in the minute books of Laois County Council, relating not only to its work but also to events of local and national significance. They are an excellent source illustrating the various aspects of local administration and democratic government during some of the most significant periods in Irish history.
Laois County Council Minute Books are being digitised as part of the Laois Local Studies Digitisation Project.