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.