Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878

Citation1878 c. 52

Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878

(41 & 42 Vict.) CHAPTER 52.

An Act to consolidate and amend the Acts relating to Public Health in Ireland.

[8th August 1878]

B E it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:



S-1 Short title.

1 Short title.

1. This Act may be cited for all purposes as thePublic Health (Ireland) Act, 1878.

S-2 Interpretation of terms.

2 Interpretation of terms.

2. In this Act, if not inconsistent with the context, the following terms have the meanings herein-after respectively assigned to them; that is to say,

‘Borough’ means any place for the time being subject to the Act of the session of the third and fourth years of the reign of Her present Majesty, chapter one hundred and eight, intituled ‘An Act for the regulation of municipal corporations in Ireland,’ and any Act amending the same:

‘Local Government Board’ means the Local Government Board for Ireland:

‘Person’ includes any body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate:

‘Sanitary authority’ means urban sanitary authority or rural sanitary authority, as by this Act defined, as the case may be:

‘Lands’ and ‘premises’ include messuages, buildings, lands, easements, and hereditaments of any tenure:

‘Owner’ means the person for the time being receiving the rackrent of the lands or premises in connexion with which the word is used, whether on his own account or as agent or trustee for any other person, or who would so receive the same if such lands or premises were let at a rackrent:

‘Rackrent’ means rent which is not less than two thirds of the full net annual value of the property out of which the rent arises as ascertained under the Acts relating to the valuation of rateable property in Ireland:

‘Street’ includes any highway and any public bridge and any road, lane, footway, square, court, alley, or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not:

‘House’ includes schools, and also factories and other buildings in which persons are employed, whatever their number may be:

‘Drain’ means any drain of and used for the drainage of one building only or of premises within the same curtilage, and made merely for the purpose of communicating therefrom with a cesspool or other like receptacle for drainage, or with a sewer into which the drainage of two or more buildings or premises occupied by different persons is conveyed:

‘Sewer’ includes sewers and drains of every description, except drains to which the word ‘drain’ interpreted as aforesaid applies, and except drains vested in or under the control of any authority having the management of roads and not being a sanitary authority under this Act:

‘Slaughter-house’ includes the buildings and places commonly called slaughter-houses and knackers yards, and any building or place used for slaughtering cattle, horses, or animals of any description for sale:

‘Common lodging-house’ means a house in which or in any part of which persons are harboured or lodged for hire for a single night, or for less than a week at a time:

‘Water company’ means any person or body of persons corporate or unincorporate supplying or who may hereafter supply water for his or their own profit:

‘Waterworks’ includes streams, springs, wells, pumps, reservoirs, cisterns, tanks, aqueduct, cuts, sluices, mains, pipes, culverts, engines, and all machinery, lands, buildings, and things for supplying or used for supplying water, also the stock in trade of any water company:

‘Labouring Classes Lodging Houses Acts’ means 29 & 30 Vict. c. 44 (Labouring Classes Lodging Houses and Dwellings Act (Ireland), 1866); 30 & 31 Vict. c. 28 (Labouring Classes Dwelling Houses Act, 1867):

‘Artizans and Labourers Dwellings Act’ means 31 & 32 Vict. c. 130 (Artizans and Labourers Dwellings Act, 1868):

‘Bakehouse Regulation Act’ means 26 & 27 Vict. c. 40 (Bakehouse Regulation Act, 1863):

‘Diseases Prevention Act’ means 18 & 19 Vict. c. 116 (Diseases Prevention Act, 1855) as amended by 23 & 24 Vict. c. 77 (An Act to amend the Acts for the removal of nuisances and the prevention of diseases), as the same are amended and extended to Ireland by the Sanitary Act, 1866:

‘Baths and Wash-houses Acts’ means 9 & 10 Vict. c. 87 (An Act for promoting the voluntary establishment in boroughs and certain towns in Ireland of public baths and wash-houses):

‘Sanitary Acts’ means all the above-mentioned Acts and the Acts mentioned in the Schedule A. to this Act annexed, except the Burial Grounds Acts as herein-after defined, and includes any amendments of such Acts contained in this or any other Act; and, with respect to any urban sanitary district, includes any Act, local Act, or provisional order relating to the same subject matters as the above-mentioned Acts in force within such district:

‘Sanitary purposes’ means any objects or purposes of the Sanitary Acts:

‘Burial Grounds Acts’ means the Burial Grounds (Ireland) Act, 1856, as the same is amended by the 23 & 24 Vict. c. 76:

‘Lands Clauses Acts’ means and includes the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845, as the same is amended by the Lands Clauses Consolidation Acts Amendment Act, 1860; the Railways Act (Ireland), 1851; the Railways Act (Ireland), 1860; the Railways Act (Ireland), 1864, and the Railway Traverse Act:

‘Poor Law Acts’ means 1 & 2 Vict. c. 56, and the Acts amending the same:

The expression ‘Summary Jurisdiction Acts’ means, as regards the police district of Dublin metropolis, the Acts regulating the powers and duties of justices of the peace for such district, and elsewhere in Ireland, the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851, and the Acts amending or affecting the same:

The expression ‘court of summary jurisdiction’ means any justice or justices of the peace or other magistrate or officer, by whatever name called, to whom jurisdiction is given by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts or any Acts therein referred to:

‘Chairman’ includes recorder:

‘Court of quarter sessions’ means the court of general or quarter sessions of the peace having jurisdiction over the whole or any part of the district or place in which the matter requiring the cognizance of general or quarter sessions arises, and when used in reference to any suit or proceeding prosecuted or taken in any borough in which there shall be a recorder having jurisdiction to hear appeals from rates, or from any order, conviction, or judgment of any court of summary jurisdiction, includes the court of such recorder.




S-3 Urban and rural sanitary districts.

3 Urban and rural sanitary districts.

3. For the purposes of this Act Ireland shall be divided into sanitary districts to be called respectively,—

(1) (1.) Urban sanitary districts; and

(2) (2.) Rural sanitary districts;

and every such urban and rural sanitary district shall respectively be subject to the jurisdiction of a sanitary authority, in this Act called an urban sanitary authority or urban authority and a rural sanitary authority or rural authority invested with the powers in this Act mentioned.

S-4 Description of urban sanitary districts and urban sanitary authority.

4 Description of urban sanitary districts and urban sanitary authority.

4. Urban sanitary districts (or urban districts) shall consist of the places in that behalf mentioned in the first column of the table in this section contained, and urban sanitary authorities (or urban authorities) shall be the several bodies of persons specified in the second column of the said table in relation to the said places respectively.

Table above referred to.

Urban Sanitary District. Urban Sanitary Authority.

The City of Dublin

The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses acting by the Town Council.

Towns corporate (except Dublin)

The Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses acting by the Town Council.

Towns, the population of which according to the last Parliamentary census exceeds six thousand, having Commissioners appointed by virtue of an Act made in the ninth year of the reign of George the Fourth, intituled ‘An Act to make provision for the lighting, cleansing, and watching of cities and towns corporate and market towns in Ireland in certain cases.’

The Commissioners.

Towns, the population of which according to the last Parliamentary census exceeds six thousand, having Municipal Commissioners under 3 & 4 Vict. c. 108.

The Municipal Commissioners.

Towns, the population of which according to the last Parliamentary census exceeds six thousand, having Town Commissioners under the Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act, 1854 (17 & 18 Vict. c. 103).

The Town Commissioners.

Towns or townships having Commissioners under Local Acts.

The Town or Township Commissioners.

S-5 Power of urban authority to appoint committee.

5 Power of urban authority to appoint committee.

5. Every urban authority may from time to time appoint out of their own number so many persons as they may think fit for any purposes of this Act which, in the opinion of such authority, would be better regulated and managed by means of a committee or committees: Provided that a committee so appointed shall in no case be authorised to borrow any money, to make any rate, or to enter into any contract, and shall be subject to any regulations and restrictions which may be imposed by the authority that formed it.

S-6 Description of rural sanitary districts and rural sanitary authorities.

6 Description of rural sanitary districts and rural sanitary authorities.

6. The area of every poor law union, with the exception of those portions (if any) of the area which are included in urban sanitary districts, shall form a rural sanitary district (or rural...

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