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First DáilFirst Dáil

Houses of the Oireachtas - Where it began!

The first meeting of Dáil Éireann took place in the Mansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, in the afternoon of 21st January 1919.

The session lasted a mere two hours. They were two of the most momentous hours in Ireland’s history.

During this brief period the Dáil adopted a Constitution and approved the Declaration of Independence. By doing so the Dáil asserted a continuity of objectives with the leaders of the 1916 Rising in setting up a separate parliament, government and republic.

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The legislature consists of two Houses: Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann.

The functions and powers of the Houses derive from the Constitution of Ireland – Bunreacht na hÉireann which was adopted by the people in a plebiscite on 1 July 1937 and came into operation on 29 December 1937.