Fethard was the third of a curious trio of boroughs, the others being Bannow and Clonmines. It did have a charter of 1614, 11 James I. Its corporation comprised a portreeve, free burgesses and a commonalty, and the power to return two MPs rested with the portreeve and 12 free burgesses. In 1692 these included Sir Nicholas Loftus (1253), Henry Loftus (1249), Anderson Saunders (1878), Thomas Loftus, Nathaniel Boyse (0219), John Cliffe (0423), Dudley Loftus (1247), Thomas Butler. In 1783 the burgesses 'were the same 13 Burgesses as Bannow and Clonmines. None resident. Same Patron, Mr Tottenham (2088). 13 domestics, or persons dependent on the will of Mr Loftus and nominated by him depute 6 Members to serve in Parliament from an opulent and respectable county, wherein they are not perhaps acquainted or possess one shilling of property. This must be a burlesque on all representation.'434
in former days a sea port of some note reduced, by the constant increase of its [sand] bar, to an inconsiderable receptacle for the smallest fishing boats and with its harbour the town itself has dwindled into insignificance. It is a close Borough, none being now permitted to elect its representatives but the Burgesses only and these being ever of Lord Loftus's (2088) nomination, he is consequently its sole proprietor and commands with uncontrolled authority their choice of those mis-called, their representatives in Parliament.435
It was disfranchised by the Act of Union and the £15,000 compensation was awarded to Lord Ely. Charles Tottenham of Ballycurry, Co. Wicklow, presented a memorial436 at the beginning of the hearing claiming an interest in the boroughs of Fethard, Clonmines and Bannow, but this does not appear to have been allowed.