List of rural and urban districts in Northern Ireland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The urban districts and rural districts of Northern Ireland had their origin in 1899, when the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 came into effect. They were based on the system of district councils introduced in England and Wales four years earlier.

With the creation of Northern Ireland in 1921, it received six of Ireland's thirty-three administrative counties, each subdivided into a number of urban and rural districts, plus the county boroughs of Belfast and Derry which were administered outside the counties.

In 1921 the number of rural districts was reduced by amalgamation.

Each district was divided into a number of District Electoral Divisions.

See List of Irish Local Government Areas 1900 - 1921 for a historic list of districts in all of Ireland.


Urban District Councils could petition for a charter of incorporation, designating the urban district a Borough. The first of these was Bangor in 1927, followed by Coleraine in 1928, Ballymena and Newtownards in 1937, Larne in 1938, Portadown in 1947, Carrickfergus, Enniskillen and Lurgan in 1949, with Lisburn being the last in 1964.

Outside of this system were the Belfast and Derry county boroughs.

Local government reform[edit]

The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 replaced the existing system of county boroughs, administrative counties, urban districts and rural districts with 26 local government districts. The new system came into effect on 1 October 1973.

Urban and Rural Districts in Northern Ireland, 1973[edit]

County Antrim[edit]

District Successor
Antrim Rural District Antrim, Belfast City Council, Newtownabbey
Ballycastle Rural District Moyle
Ballycastle Urban District Moyle
Ballyclare Urban District Newtownabbey
Ballymena Borough Ballymena
Ballymena Rural District Antrim, Ballymena
Ballymoney Urban District Ballymoney
Ballymoney Rural District Ballymoney, Coleraine, Moyle
Carrickfergus Borough Carrickfergus
Larne Borough Larne
Larne Rural District Belfast, Carrickfergus, Larne, Newtownabbey
Lisburn Borough Lisburn
Lisburn Rural District Lisburn
Portrush Urban District Coleraine
Newtownabbey Urban District (formerly Belfast No.1 Rural District) Belfast, Newtownabbey
Whitehead Urban District Carrickfergus

County Armagh[edit]

District Successor
Armagh Rural District Armagh, Dungannon
Armagh Urban District Armagh
Keady Urban District Armagh
Lurgan Borough Craigavon
Lurgan Rural District Armagh, Craigavon
Newry No. 2 Rural District Armagh, Newry and Mourne
Portadown Borough Craigavon
Tandragee Rural District Armagh
Tandragee Urban District Armagh

County Down[edit]

District Successor
Banbridge Rural District (formerly Banbridge No.1 Rural District)[1] Banbridge
Banbridge Urban District Banbridge
Bangor Borough North Down
Castlereagh Rural District (formerly Belfast No.2 Rural District) Belfast, Castlereagh
Donaghdee Urban District (created 1905) Ards
Downpatrick Urban District (created by the Downpatrick Urban District Order, 1924) [2] Down
Dromore Urban District Banbridge
East Down Rural District Ards, Down
Hillsborough Rural District (formerly Lisburn No.2 Rural District) Castlereagh, Lisburn
Holywood Urban District Belfast, North Down
Kilkeel Rural District Newry and Mourne
Kilkeel Urban District (created by the Kilkeel Urban District Order, 1936) [3] Newry and Mourne
Moira Rural District (formerly Lurgan No.2 Rural District) Craigavon, Lisburn
Newcastle Urban District (created 1905) Down
Newry Urban District Newry and Mourne
Newry No. 1 Rural District Newry and Mourne
Newtownards Borough Ards
North Down Rural District - offices in Newtownards [4] Castlereagh, North Down
South Down Rural District - offices in Kilkeel [5] Down
Warrenpoint Urban District Newry and Mourne

County Fermanagh[edit]

District Successor
Enniskillen Borough † Fermanagh
Enniskillen Rural District Fermanagh
Irvinestown Rural District Fermanagh
Lisnakea Rural District Fermanagh

† All district councils in Fermanagh were abolished in 1968, creating a unitary county council.

County Londonderry[edit]

District Successor
Coleraine Borough Coleraine
Coleraine Rural District Coleraine
Limavady Rural District Limavady
Limavady Urban District Limavady
Londonderry Rural District Derry
Magherafelt Rural District Cookstown, Magherafelt
Portstewart Urban District Coleraine

‡ The Rural District Council was abolished in 1969, with the Londonderry Development Commission taking over municipal functions.

† The District was known as Londonderry until 1984.

County Tyrone[edit]

District Successor
Castlederg Rural District Strabane
Clogher Rural District Dungannon, Omagh
Cookstown Rural District Cookstown
Cookstown Urban District Cookstown
Dungannon Rural District Dungannon
Dungannon Urban District Dungannon
Omagh Rural District Omagh, Strabane
Omagh Urban District Omagh
Strabane Rural District Strabane
Strabane Urban District Strabane


  • Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971, (Eliz II 19 & 20 c.9)
  • Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 (Eliz II 20 & 21 c.9)
  • Local Government (Boundaries) Order (Northern Ireland) 1972 (S.R. & O. 1972, No. 131).
  • The Belfast Gazette
  • Larne Borough Guide, undated
  • Omagh District Guide, undated
  • Strabane District Official Guide, c 1989
  • Northern Ireland census

External links[edit]

  • "North-east sheet". Boundaries of Administrative Counties, Co. Boroughs, Urban & Dispensary Districts & District Electoral Divisions. Ordnance Survey Ireland. 1961 [1935]. Retrieved 8 February 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)


  1. ^ A list of its District Electoral Divisions, and the townlands comprising each, is in The Belfast Gazette Publication date:22 June 1923 Issue:104 Page:241
  2. ^ Belfast Gazette, No 155, P 836, 13 June 1924
  3. ^ Belfast Gazette, No 787, P 274, 24 July 1936
  4. ^ Belfast and Northern Ireland Directory, 1973, P1387
  5. ^ Belfast and Northern Ireland Directory, 1973, P1267