The Parish Council was inaugurated in August 1940 under the chairmanship of Fr. Moynihan C.C. All sections of the community were represented, local clergy, farming, commercial, professional and working people generally. It was a time of much concern to the nation. The German armies were triumphant on the Continent and an invasion of this country was a possibility. Merchant shipping, carrying vital supplies of food and materials to Britain and this country were under constant attack from submarines. It was against this background that Parish Councils were established all over the country.
The first concern was that adequate supplies of food should be available in case of shortage. An iron ration scheme was made out by the council. In Donabate corn was stored by some farmers, notably Lancelot Smith of Corballis, Kevin Smith and Miss B. Smith of Donabate. Trees for felling were given free by Thomas Cobbe, T.L. Smith, Comd. Corry of Seafield Thomas Cahill, Lindsey Brien, John Beattie, Ed Counihan and Ed Collins of Kilcreagh. These were cut up and sold locally to householders at a very reasonable cost. Needy people were supplied free. Through the efforts of Mr. Sean Moran 40 tons of turf were delivered from Portarlington to the account of Miss B. Smith of Bridge House. Four acres of land were procured from Donabate Golf Club and divided among plot holders for the growing of vegetables.
For the benefit of the unemployed people, Mr. R. Chalmers of Portrane prepared a number of schemes including the widening of the railway bridge, removing dangerous corners, erecting public conveniences at the beaches etc. As a result of the Parish Councils representations “the electric light” was extended to the Burrow and Portrane. To meet costs, a whist drive and a dance were held. Fr. Moynihan raised £10.00 at a dance. Also a house to house collection was made.
A branch of the Red Cross under the direction of Dr.R.J.May of Swords was established. Another sub-committee of the Council dealt with Air Raid Precaution (A.R.P.). The bombing of Dublin and Belfast emphasised the urgency of this. Stirrup Pumps and buckets were distributed to deal with fires and incendiary bombs. The Parish was divided into four areas each with its own warden. No.1; Donabate, Ballisk, Newbridge, New Road under M. Sherlock. No.2; Portrane, The Brook and Burrow under W. Harford. No.3; Corballis and Balcarrick under James Hand. No.4; Turvey, Lanistown and Ballamadrough under J. Counihan. District Warden was L.O’Brien.
Lectures were given on first aid, poison gases and how to cope with them, rescue, decontamination and demolition. Four hydrants were placed in central positions, one at the Hand, one at The Square, Donabate, one at the school and one in the Square, Portrane. The Council had tackled many problems in the area and has figured among the prize winners of tidy districts.
With the housing developement now taking place its need was never so urgent in monitoring planning applications and endeavouring to ensure that the high quality of life and environment was maintained.
Under the Local Government Act of 1941, Section 72, the Parish Council became a statutory body with power to administer the Parish in a crisis situation. The Council has been in existence without interruption since its foundation. It is probably the only such Council in the country with this unique record. As a result of research done by Mr. Laurence Farrell, it was discovered that the original constitution was revised and amended in 1967, but was never registered. This was rectified in June 1986 and the 1967 constitution was registered with The Department of the Environment. It is now a recognised Parish Group and should the need arise again, the Council would automatically be empowered to administer parochial affairs.
In the mid 1990’s Donabate Parish Council resumed the local newsletter after an absence of nearly 40 years. The Donabate Parish Council Newsletter was relaunched to bring news of events and developements on our peninsula which was undergoing rapid change with new houses and families moving into the area.
Initially in a plain black and white the format and name was changed in 2009 and the full colour Peninsula News as we now know it was launched.
In 2000 The Parish Council a sub commitee was formed to examine the feasibilty of establishing a secondary school on the peninsula and after much hard work the new school was opened in the community centre in 2008 and the purpose built school was opened in 2011.
In 2004 we started a website donabateparishcouncil.com to further spread the message of what we do and to try and attract a wider audience.
In 2007 The Parish Council underwent a name change from Donabate parish Council to the now familiar Donabate Portrane Community Council and in that same year we rebranded the website and changed the name to donabateportranecommunitycouncil.com and in 2014 we added a Facebook page facebook.com/donabateportranecommunitycouncil
So after 74 years of service to the community of Donabate Portrane the council continues to serve and as we can see from the history to adapt and change to whatever comes along.