16 Aug 2019, 10.05

The role of the first members of Dáil Éireann from Galway is highlighted in an exhibition entitled ‘Dáil 100’ hosted by Galway County Council from Monday, August 19.

Four elected representatives for Galway were to the fore at the meeting of the first Dáil on 19 January 1919; Pádraic Ó Máille (Connemara, the constituency also included Galway city), Bryan Cusack (North Galway), Galway's 1916 Rising leader Liam Mellows (East Galway), and Frank Fahy (South Galway).

To commemorate and as part of a programme of events to mark the first public sitting of Dáil Éireann in 1919, Galway County Council offices at Áras an Chontae, Prospect Hill will host the exhibition until Friday, September 13. The exhibition marks 100 years of Irish Parliamentary democracy and educates the general public about the role and importance of the Irish Parliament.

Cllr Jimmy McClearn, Cathaoirleach of the County of Galway said: “I think it is important to reflect on the legacy of the First Dáil and the fact that Ireland is one of a few new states established in the aftermath of the First World War which has remained a continuous democracy. Therefore, I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to have this very important exhibition here in Áras an Chontae for the next month. It is an exhibition that tells the story of Dáil Éireann and how legislation and Parliamentary activity has affected Irish society through the past 100 years.”

The exhibition begins with the first public meeting of Dáil Éireann on January 21st, 1919. Iconic images have been selected to chart important moments in Irish society and explain how they shaped the State today.

The exhibition is open to locals and tourists alike between 9am-4pm Monday to Friday, and will outline the many ways in which the work of Dáil Éireann has changed and developed in many ways since those early days.

Dáil Éireann held its first public meeting in the Round Room of Dublin’s Mansion House on the 21 January 1919. It was a brave and defiant move coming six weeks after the December 1918 general election where 69 of the 101 successful candidates were pro-independence.

All elected members were invited to attend that first meeting but given the complicated political landscape of the time not all could or would attend. On the day, 27 members were present in the Mansion House. They declared Irish independence, sought international recognition for Ireland’s freedom, and set about the process of building a State.

In January, Dáil Éireann celebrated the 100th anniversary of its first public sitting in Dublin's Mansion House in 1919, by organising a special sitting in the Mansion House, now, Galway will now host Dáil 100’.

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