Sworn to be Free – A Nation Reborn
The 1918 Election marked a watershed in Irish politics. There were 105 seats for 103 constituencies, but since four MPS were elected for two of these, the total number elected was 101. The newly energised Sinn Féin party romped home winning a total of 73 seats, of which 25 were uncontested. As four of their candidates were elected for two constituencies a total of 69 were elected as Sinn Féin MPS for the parliament in Westminster. The Irish Parliamentary Party was devastated, returning only 6 MPS, down 67 on the 1910 Election. The Unionists (North and South) won 26 seats in total. The Sinn Féin members chose not to go to London, but attend the new assembly in the Mansion House in Dublin on 21 January 1919, Dáil Éireann.
Of the total 73 Sinn Féin elected members of the new Irish parliament, only 28 (some say 27) were present on this momentous day. Many of the names of those absent was answered by the reply ‘fé ghlas ag Gallaibh’ or ‘locked up by a foreign enemy’. A couple were ill, some had been deported or were on missions abroad. Michael Collins and Harry Boland were marked absent; both were in England planning De Valera’s escape from Lincoln Prison.
Two candidates were returned for Co. Kildare, but only one was present.
Kildare South’s newly elected TD Art O’Connor, was imprisoned in Dartmoor Jail, detained at the pleasure of a foreign king, while Domhnall Ua Buachalla, TD for North Kildare, took his seat as the inaugural Dáil went into session.
The Co. Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee would like to invite the people of Kildare to a commemorative event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the meeting of the First Dáil in 1919.
Sworn to be Free – A Nation Reborn, Wednesday 23 January, 2019 will take place in the main ballroom of the Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare at 8 p.m. A light reception will precede this at 7.30 p.m. and members of Lord Edward’s Own Re-enactment Group will be on hand to add some period colour to the evening.
Cllr. Pádraig McEvoy, Chairman of the Co. Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee will introduce the Mayor of Co. Kildare, Cllr. Seán Power.
A short historical background will be provided by Mario Corrigan, Kildare Library Services
The main event features Ciara Plunkett, News Editor with KFM Radio, in conversation with the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Members
of the Oireachtas for Co. Kildare.
Senator Anthony Lawlor
Bernard Durkan, T.D. | Catherine Murphy, T.D.
Martin Heydon, T.D. | Fiona O’Loughlin, T.D.
James Lawless, T.D. | Frank O’Rourke, T.D.
All are welcome.