Long run Irish fiscal data

From NUIG’s Dr Aidan Kane, a (really) long run data set covering Irish fiscal data from 1690 to 1800. This work has been decades in the making and is the first of a series of releases connecting Ireland’s fiscal history to its modern, post establishment of the CSO era. Dr Kane’s new website, Duanaire, has the details.

To get a sense of the level of resolution of the data, take a look at the chart below. Congrats to Dr Kane and let’s hope this resource is used by researchers into the future.

By Stephen Kinsella

Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick.

6 replies on “Long run Irish fiscal data”

Fantastic piece of work. There’s a growing body of interesting historical data in Ireland between this and other projects like the the Irish famine data atlas. Would be fantastic if the 1901 and 1911 census records were available in a machine readable format too.

Congrats Dr Kane.

Thanks, Stephen, Ger

It’s early days yet with the site: more detail and documentation to come, but thought it worth getting out there at this stage. Certainly agree there’s some good work being done in a number of data-related fields. I hope in time, we can host some of those datasets on duanaire–must add the Census records to the wish-list, though I imagine the National Archives might want to host that, if and when they release all the underlying data.


Hi Hugh,

The very big surge in that towards the end is from an item called ‘vote of credit’ which I think was just a generic allocation by parliament to the government. It may in fact have been used for mainly military purposes: will have to check on that.

There’s also a large item called ‘voluntary contributions’. I think that’s similarly generic expenditure, but sourced from contributions which people made to the exchequer (possibly in response to a call–unsure about that) of money — presumably to fight the French and/or rebels.

For earlier years, there are various components, such as compensation for losses e.g. due to invasion, or ‘riotous mobs’, and ‘failed bankers’, which could spark a little debate here, and a very generous grant to buy land for Henry Grattan.

You can see the gory detail of all the categories from


which is a very much expanded version of


— there’s a link at the top of latter to the former.

— click on any heading there to see the graph. Quite a lot of detail to navigate through, but some of these misc items are interesting in their own right: I guess each one could prompt a little study.

Given the timing it seems likely that those two were mostly military related.

But the line “relief of loyalists” for 1799 and is fascinating too. And also given the timing it seems ungenerous in amount. Especially compared to the grants to Grattan himself just 17yrs earlier.

Curiosity, curiosity!

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