Three deputies recall how they came to stand for election for the first Irish parliament.

Broadcast on 20 January 1969 the programme 'An Chéad Dáil 1919' interviewed former members of the fist Dáil marking fifty years of Dáil Éireann.

In this extract Ernest Blythe, Robert Barton and James Ryan recall how they were chosen as Sinn Féin candidates for the 1918 election and were subsequently elected to the first Dáil.

Ernest Blythe who stood for election in Monaghan despite only having been in the county once says, "Without knowing practically anybody in the county, I was selected and elected."

The first meeting of Dáil Éireann took place in the Round Room of the Mansion House on 21 January 1919. To honour the 50th Anniversary of this historic assembly the first sitting of the Dáil for 1969 also took place in the Round Room of the Mansion House. RTÉ marked the 50th anniversary of this event with programmes on radio and television. The first ever live broadcast of the Dáil in session on radio and television was part of this output.

In 'An Chéad Dáil 1919' ten of the twelve surviving Sinn Féin deputies who were returned in that election talk about the first assembly and the work it did. The programme was produced by Aindreas Ó Gallchóir and broadcast on 20 January 1969.

RTÉ Guide 1969 1st Dáil
RTÉ Guide, 17 January, 1969.