I beg leave to introduce the Local Authorities (Indemnity) Bill, 1923. This is a Bill to establish the validity of certain acts done and omissions made by Local Authorities during the period between the 31st day of March, 1920, and the 6th day of December, 1922.
During the period that elapsed between the Summer of 1920 and the coming into operation of the Treaty, Local Authorities throughout the country, on the advice of Dáil Eireann, engaged in the struggle with the British Government. They broke off relations with the British Local Government Board and functioned under the authority of the new Local Government Department established by Dáil Eireann. This change naturally led to considerable disorganisation and to much uncertainty with regard to the law of Local Government. So many different acts and matters are involved and so many different occasions for illegalities exist, and the records of the period are so incomplete, that it has been found necessary to seek for powers admittedly wide in order to regularise the position.