Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy is convening a special meeting on January 21st 2019 in Cork County Hall at 11.00am to mark the centenary of the sitting of the very first Dáil.
1918 was a significant year in Irish history, both nationally and internationally. Democracy was coming to the fore following the ending of World War I. In Ireland, the elections of December 14th 1918 afforded all men over the age of 21 and, for the very first time, women over the age of 30, the right to vote and indeed stand for Parliament.
Of the 105 seats available across the island of Ireland, those who stood behind an independent Ireland stood out in front when the results of the election were announced. 73 seats went to Sinn Féin, including nine from the County of Cork, represented by: Liam De Róiste; James J. Walsh, David Kent, Terence MacSwiney, Patrick O’Keeffe, Thomas Hunter, Michael Collins, Diarmuid Lynch and Seán Hayes.
Rather than take their seats at Parliament in London, the elected men and sole woman, Countess Markievicz, established their own Government, Dáil Éireann meaning ‘the Assembly of Ireland’. This decision would set in train the Anglo-Irish War of Independence and subsequent Irish Civil War with County Cork playing a pivotal role in both.
Dr. Neil Buttimer, Department Of Modern Irish, U.C.C., who has an in-depth knowledge of the era, will give a keynote address, entirely in Irish, fitting given that the First Dáil was itself held in Irish.
Commenting on this milestone, Mayor Murphy is encouraging anyone interested to join him in marking this occasion, “On January 21st 2019, the country will witness the centenary of the sitting of the very First Dáil. We will hear from Dr. Buttimer and discuss the significance of the First Dáil; what it means to us today and reflect on those from Cork who had the courage and conviction for a new, free and democratic, Ireland.”
This meeting is open to the public and anyone interested in attending is welcome to do so.