First Dail to be remembered
First Dail to be remembered

Sinn Féin have announced plans to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first Irish parliament.

The 1918 election saw an overwhelming victory for Sinn Féin, the party identified with Irish independence from British rule, while unionists won seats in the north-east.

The election and the gathering of Dail Eireann -- ‘the first Dail’ -- have long been the subject of a campaign by British and pro-British historians to undermine their legitimacy as the first and unique expression of Irish national sovereignty.

Mr Adams said members of the first Dail would not be impressed with the work of the current Government in fulfilling the aspirations of solidarity and equality contained in the 1916 Proclamation.

He said the foundation of the State was essentially based on the ideals of liberty, equality and justice for all citizens, which he believes have not been delivered in recent times.

“The first Dail went on to interpret that for its time and we would, therefore, interpret it in our time to mean universal healthcare, the right to a house, the right to a job, the right to be treated decently, to have access to education and rights to civil liberties and follow persuasions.

“On some of those issues in modern Ireland, I think we’re in a good place, but in terms of social and economic rights, we are in a very, very poor place.

“It’s just a downright disgrace that lip service is paid to these ideals. When you look at Dublin city there are still people living in poverty who never saw the Celtic tiger.”

Mr Adams was speaking at the Mansion House in Dublin yesterday at the launch of Sinn Féin’s plans.

The party has organised a series of events, on January 21st, which commences with a photographic exhibition in the Mansion House, a historical walking tour of the surrounding streets and the launch of a commemorative publication issued by the Sinn Féin Oireachtas members.

That evening Sinn Féin will host a talk on the events of the first Dail, there will be presentation to Siptu president Jack O’Connor marking the centenary of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU), and a keynote address by Mr Adams.

Labour is also to hold a special event on Sunday at 2.30pm in Liberty Hall, Dublin.

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