The First Dáil
(pronounced 'dawl') was the first independent Irish parliament, formed by Irish MPs elected in Ireland in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
general election of 1918. A majority of the MPs, who were members of Sinn Féin
, refused to take their seats in Westminster
but instead set up an illegal Irish parliament in Dublin
Among its primary decisions were
The Parliament, called Dáil Éireann
, assembled on January 21, 1919, in the Round Room of the Mansion House
, the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. It elected a speaker, called the Ceann Comhairle
, a prime minister called the Príomh Aire and a ministry or cabinet called the Aireacht
. Dáil Éireann was subsequently declared illegal by the British government.
The First Dáil met intermittently until it was replaced by a new Dáil, called the Second Dáil, formed by MPs elected to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland in 1921. All modern Dála (pronounced 'dawla', plural for Dáil) are counted as successors to that First Dáil of 1919-21. The first Dáil elected Cathal Brugha as President of Dáil Éireann in January 1919. He was replaced by Eamon de Valera in April 1919. De Valera also used a variation on the title, namely 'President of Dáil Éireann.'
Though more recent Irish politicians (notably current Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern have suggested that Irish independence only really began in 1922 with the foundation of the Irish Free State successive Dála [plural for Dáil] have been numbered from the 1st Dáil formed in 1919. The current Dáil, elected in 2002, is as a result, the Twenty-Ninth Dáil.
First Dáil Michael Collins
(second from left, front row), Cathal Brugha
(third from left, front row)Arthur Griffith
(fourth from left, front row) Eamon de Valera
(centre, front row), Eoin MacNeill
(third from right, front row) W.T. Cosgrave
(second from right, front row)Kevin O'Higgins
(first on right, third row)
The First Dáil's most prominent members included:
Modern Dáil Éireann website