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Marching on the Road to Freedom: Dáil Éireann 1919


The formal opening of the first Dáil Éireann took place in the Mansion House, Dublin, on 21st January 1919. Of the Dáil’s 69 elected deputies, 27 attended the first meeting, while the remaining 42 were absent, in most cases due to imprisonment. The total attendance was in the region of 2,000, with a large proportion of the attendees being journalists.

Dáil Éireann was banned by the British government in September 1919, and from that point onward its ministers and officials suffered increased harassment, with the resulting need to move premises on a regular basis. As a consequence, there was very little legislative activity, although there were notable successes in other areas, such as the collection of £370,000 through the Dáil Éireann National Loan.

The formal opening of Dáil Éireann took place against a background of increasing violence in Ireland between nationalists and British forces. On the same day as the first meeting of the Dáil, 21st January 1919, nine Volunteers from the 3rd Tipperary Brigade carried out an ambush at Soloheadbeg, Co. Tipperary. In retrospect, the ambush at Soloheadbeg would be seen as the first engagement of the War of Independence.

This exhibition runs for the duration of 2019, and will coincide with a number of themed events throughout the year.


Marching on the Road to Freedom: Dáil Éireann 1919 is located at:
Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7
D07 XKV4

A new exhibition commemorating the centenary of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann on 21st January 1919

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Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7,
D07 XKV4

+353 1 677 7444