Republic of Ireland news

New Dublin exhibition marks 100 years since formation of first Dáil

Photograph of the members of the First Dáil. Picture from the National Museum of Ireland
By Mairead Holland

A NEW exhibition commemorating the centenary of the formation of the first Dáil has opened at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

Marching on the Road to Freedom: Dáil Éireann 1919 will feature artefacts including the metal seal of Dáil Éireann and the Declaration of Independence, handwritten by Éamon de Valera.

During the first meeting, which took place in the Mansion House on January 21, 1919, the Declaration was approved and all ties with the Westminster parliament were renounced.

On the same day, nine volunteers from the 3rd Tipperary Brigade carried out an ambush at Soloheadbeg, Co Tipperary.

A printed reproduction of the official photograph of the first session of Dáil Éireann. It shows a general view of the assembly surrounded by individual photographs of the members. Picture from the National Museum of Ireland

The ambush is now considered the opening shots in the War of Independence which lasted for two years.

The exhibition was officially opened by the 19th ceann comhairle of Dáil Éireann Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD.

He said: "As we mark one hundred years since the meeting of the First Dáil, it is more important than ever to review and reflect on the hopes, aspirations and challenges of those members of the First Dáil who gathered in the Round Room of the Mansion House to create a new nation state".

Chair of the Board of the National Museum of Ireland Catherine Heaney said the centenary "offers the opportunity to reflect on our relatively contemporary history" and "also signals the beginning of commemorations on the civil war".

Postcard photograph of members of Dáil Éireann, 21st January 1919. Images courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland.

The year-long exhibition can be viewed at the National Museum of Ireland in Collins Barracks, Dublin 7.

 

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