Ireland: Dáil Éireann: 1919

Cathaoirleach Dháil Éireann = Ceann Conhairle = Chairman of Dáil Éireann
21 Jan 1919 - 21 Jan 1919 Cathal Brugha = Charles Burgess
22 Jan 1919 - 22 Jan 1919 Seoirse Pluincéad = George Noble Plunkett

The general elections of December 1918 to the House of Commons in Ireland brought a victory to the Sinn Féin party, which won 73 of 105 seats. However, the members of Sinn Féin preferred not to take their seats in London, but gathered as an assembly in the Mansion House, Dublin at 15:30 on 21 Jan 1919. The assembly constituted itself as the first Dáil Éireann. On the motion of Count Plunkett, Cathal Brugha assumed the chair. Dáil voted the Declaration of Independence of the Irish Republic and adopted a provisional constitution establishing Dáil as legislative body and the government of the Republic. When Dáil Éireann assembled for private session at 12.30 p.m. on 22 Jan 1919, deputy Pádraig Ó Máille proposed Count Plunkett as Chairman (Ceann Comhairle). As most of the Sinn Féin deputies including such prominent figures as Eamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith were detained by the British, Dáil Éireann appointed Cathal Brugha "President of the Ministry pro. tem.", Eóin Mac Néill as finance minister, Michael Collins as home affairs minister, Count Plunkett as foreign minister, and Richard Mulcahy as national defense minister. By the end of the private session, Sean T. O'Kelly was selected permanent Speaker of the House. The first Dáil was declared illegal by the British government in September 1919 and held clandestine sessions in 1919-1921. The general election took place in May 1921 and returned a majority of 124 Sinn Féin members, which constituted themselves as the second Dáil Éireann.

[1] Dáil Éireann: Díospóireachtaí Parlaiminte - Parliamentary Debates: Tuairisc Oifigiúil - Official Report
Last updated on: 24 May 2010 22:31:50