Dublin Corporation, the city's council, was an ancient and prestigious body. In 1840 its system of voting was reformed to allow for more representation by Catholics and in 1841 Daniel O'Connell was elected its Lord Mayor. At the end of the century the boundaries of the city were significantly extended. The intervening sixty years saw the corporation struggle to find a role for itself. Could it be a 'civic parliament, ' a place where national issues were debated in the absence of self-government? Could it manage efficiently to run a debt-ridden city with a crumbling infrastructure? Could it find a solution to the city's pressing need for a new water supply? Would it sink into conflict over party politics or religious differences? Might it become merely the instrument of outside political forces? This book tells story of Dublin Corporation for the first time, focusing on the visions and conflicts of its members.