Hat tip to MyHeritage Blog for the pointer to the 1901 Irish census, now available online. It’s freely available at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/. That link actually has search forms for both the 1911 Irish census (about which I have written before) and the 1901 census.
You can search the census by first and last name, county, street, and DED (District Electoral Division). You can also specify an age and gender. (If you have a good knowledge of Ireland and are feeling some mad census skillz, you can also try browsing by place..)
I did a search for Shea and got over 8900 results. The result listings only include name, townland/street, DED, county, age, and sex, but clicking on a name will bring you more detailed page. Click on that “Show All Information” link in the upper right corner and your results will include religion, birthplace, occupation, literacy level, Irish language status, and marital status. And it’s already transcribed, so you need do no squinting. If you want to squint, original census images are available at the bottom of the result details page.
Kudos to Ireland for getting this done; it was clearly a lot of time and effort!