~ The First Dail 1919 ~
90th Anniversary of First Dail
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the first Dáil and the launch of the Irish War of Independence. Commemorate this by visiting the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, where you will find many significant items on display.
The start of The War of Independence is widely believe to have been started with the Soleheadbeg ambush, which took place in South Tipperary by Irish Volunteers, led by Dan Breen and Sean Treacy. The Soldiers & Chiefs exhibition at Collins Barracks examines these events in detail, including the shooting of Sean Treacy in Talbot Street, Dublin in October 1920.
On the same day, the first meeting of the Dáil was being held in the Round Room at the Mansion House. In this historical meeting, there was regular reference to the 1916 Easter Rising and the words of the proclamation. The National Museum of Ireland holds one of the few surviving copies of the proclamation and can be viewed in the 1916: Understanding the Easter Rising exhibition at Collins Barracks.
Michael Kenny, Keeper of Art & Industry at the National Museum of Ireland, commented, this is fascinating period of Irish History and the exhibition deals with the years of the War of Independence that led to the creation of the Irish State",
The Military History wing of the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks looks closely at Irelands long struggle for independence through the Soldiers & Chiefs exhibitions and the 1916: Understanding The Easter Rising exhibition.
· The Soleheadbeg ambush took place in South Tipperary by Irish Volunteers, led by Dan Breen and Sean Treacy. The current Dáil did not formally declare war until 1921 but this ambush is seen as the start of the War of Independence.
· The Soleheadbeg ambush had not been ordered by the Dáil but the course of events led the Dáil to recognise the Volunteers as the army of the Irish Republic and the ambush as an act of war.
· After elections in 1921 the First Dáil was succeeded by the Second Dáil of 19211922.
· The first meeting of Dáil Éireann occurred on 21 January 1919 in the Round Room of the Mansion House. Being the first and highly symbolic meeting, the proceedings of the Dáil were conducted for the only time entirely in the Irish language, except for previously drafted declarations that were repeated in other languages as well.
The Labour Party, however, decided not to take participate in the election, fearing that it would be caught in the political crossfire between the IPP and Sinn Féin; it thought it better to let the people make up their minds on the issue of Home Rule versus a Republic by having a clear two way choice between the two nationalist parties.
· In the message to the free nations of the world at the first Dáil the message began " We declare in the words of the Irish Republican Proclamation the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be indefeasible, and in the language of our first President. Pádraíg Mac Phiarais, we declare that the Nation's sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation's soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes within the Nation, and with him we reaffirm that all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare".
Arthur Griffith (SF) Cavan East (also won Tyrone North East in a contest)
Éamon de Valera (SF) Clare East (also won Mayo East)
Terence MacSwiney (SF) Cork Mid
Michael Collins (SF) Cork South
Seán Hayes (SF) Cork West
Liam Mellows (SF) Galway East (also won Meath North in a contest)
Piaras Béaslaí (SF) Kerry East
Austin Stack (SF) Kerry West
W. T. Cosgrave (SF) Kilkenny North
Patrick McCartan (SF) King's County (Offaly)
Count Plunkett (SF) Roscommon North
Elected in contests
Hugh O'Neill (Unionist) Antrim Mid
Patrick Donnelly (IPP) Armagh South
Edward Carson (U) Belfast Duncairn
Joseph Devlin (IPP) Belfast Falls
Samuel McGuffin (Labour Unionist) Belfast Shankhill
Edward Kelly (IPP) Donegal East
James Craig (U) Down Mid
Jeremiah McVeagh (IPP) Down South
Seán T. O'Kelly (SF) Dublin College Green
John J. O'Kelly (SF) Louth
Desmond FitzGerald (SF) Dublin Pembroke
Maurice Dockrell (U) Dublin Rathmines
Joseph McGrath (SF) Dublin St James's
Countess Markiewicz (SF) Dublin St Patrick's
Robert Henry Woods (U) University of Dublin
Pádraic Ó Máille (SF) Galway Connemara
Frank Fahy (SF) Galway South
Domhnall Ua Buachalla (SF) Kildare North
Eoin MacNeill (SF) Londonderry City (also elected for the National University of Ireland)
Hugh Alfred Anderson (U) Londonderry North
Denis Henry (U) Londonderry South
Ernest Blythe (SF) Monaghan North
Seán MacEntee (SF) Monaghan South
Kevin O'Higgins (SF) Queen's County (Laois)
Harry Boland (SF) Roscommon South
Thomas Harbison (IPP) Tyrone North-East
William Redmond (IPP) Waterford City
Cathal Brugha (SF) Waterford County
Laurence Ginnell (SF) Westmeath
James Ryan (SF) Wexford South
Robert Barton (SF) Wicklow West
John Dillon, MP, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party
National Museum of Ireland