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Dog licences were introduced in Ireland in 1865 to make it easier for the authorities to identify the owners of troublemaking dogs that either worried sheep or damaged property. It cost two shillings per dog, plus sixpence in administration costs. The licences were issued in the same courts that held the Petty Sessions. In the first year, 353,798 dog licences were issued generating over £35,000 in revenue. Subsequent years saw an average of 250,000 licences purchased. In the following decades, millions more licences were issued.

Now with over 2.4 million records in the collection, the Irish Dog Licences contain not only the name, breed, colour and sex of your ancestor’s four legged friend, but also the owner’s address and the date the licence was issued.