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  • Northside East

First Dáil commemorated in Swords

Friday, 8th February, 2019 7:59am
First Dáil commemorated in Swords

Marguerite Drake, Fingal Libraries, May McKeon, Íde Ní Liathain, Bernie Kelly, Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Gráinne Maguire (Ind), Brian Kavanagh and Helen O’Donnell, Fingal Libraries.

First Dáil commemorated in Swords

Marguerite Drake, Fingal Libraries, May McKeon, Íde Ní Liathain, Bernie Kelly, Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Gráinne Maguire (Ind), Brian Kavanagh and Helen O’Donnell, Fingal Libraries.

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AN enthusiastic crowd, including many from local historical societies, enjoyed a very informative talk, given by Dr William Murphy, on the First Dáil, at Fingal County Hall, Swords. 

Fingal County Council, in conjunction with Rolestown/Oldtown Historical Association, was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann in the Round Room of the Mansion House on January 21, 1919.  

The talk attracted a cross section of elected members, past and present, including Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Gráinne Maguire, Cllr Darragh Butler, Cllr Cathal Boland and former councillors David O’Connor and May McKeon.  

Catherine Keane, from Fingal Local Studies and Archives, introduced the main speaker Dr William Murphy.

Dr Murphy is based in the School of History and Geography, DCU, and his primary field of research is modern Irish history, with particular expertise in the history of the Irish revolutionary period.  

His talk outlined political and social life after the 1916 Rising setting the scene for the establishment of the First Dáil.  

He spoke about the Elected Members of the Dáil and the different roles that they played within it and also discussed the effectiveness of the Dáil over its lifetime.  

A lively question and answer session followed the talk before Una O’Brien, chairperson of the Rolestown/Oldtown Historical Association, addressed the closing remarks, particularly in relation to the local involvement in the events of the era and brought the evening to a close by thanking the speaker and those in attendance.  

Twenty-seven MPs attended the first meeting of the Dáil and the proceedings were held in the Irish language, although translations of the documents were also read out in English and French. 

The members declared Irish independence, ratified the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, and adopted a provisional constitution. 

The First Dáil (January 1919-May 1921) met 21 times, continuing to conduct its main business during the turbulent times of the era.

 

(Right): Una O’Brien, Rolestown/Oldtown Historical Society, Dr William Murphy and Catherine Keane, Fingal Local Studies and Archive, at the event in Swords. PHOTOS: ORLA MURRAY/SON PHOTO Vincent Donnelly, David O’Connor, Ernie Donnelly and Cllr Cathal Boland.

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