Council marks first sitting of First Dáil with special event

As part of Donegal County Council’s Decade of Centenaries Programme, Donegal County Council has marked the first sitting of the First Dáil, on 21st January 1919 at a special event in the County House Lifford last evening.

Three TDs from Donegal were elected to that first Dail, relatives of some of them attended the commemoration.

Among the new TDs elected in the 1918 General Election were Joseph O'Doherty, from Derry who was elected in North Donegal, Joseph Sweeney who was elected in West Donegal and Peter Joseph Ward in South Donegal.

Edward J. Kelly was also successful, but chose to represent his East Donegal constituency in Westminster.

Launching the project today Cathaoirleach, Cllr Seamus Ó Domhnaill said the event was about celebrating the centenary of our democracy, as 1918 was the first election in which many of Ireland's poor could vote and the first general election in which women could vote.

Twenty-seven TDs attended the inaugural meeting of the Dáil and among them were the three Donegal TDs.

The event was attended by relatives of those elected to the First Dáil as well as elected members of Donegal County Council, also heard from local historian Anthony Begley.

A special booklet "Donegal, the 1918 General Election and the First Dáil" was launched, it is available online.