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19 March 2020
ARTICLE: Coleman DENNEHY: 'Parliamentary committees in seventeenth-century Ireland: a brief introduction', Parliaments, Estates and Representation 2019, 39 (3), pp. 316-327 (OPEN ACCESS)
(image source: Taylor & Francis)
Parliament in early modern Ireland grew in both the size of its membership and its workload, and so as the flow of business put before parliament in the early modern period increased, the parliamentary committee became a more frequent part of the institution. Committees, and the parliamentary conferences conducted by them, were used as a way of dispatching business in an increasingly efficient, targeted, and concentrated manner. The committee allowed for freer debate, concentration of expertise, and timely completion of work. Studying them is useful for our understanding of the development of the institution, but also too for observing the involvement and work-rate of individual parliamentarians, and perhaps political activity too.