The First Dáil (An Chéad Dáil) was Dáil Éireann as it convened from 1919-1921. In 1919 candidates who had been elected in the Westminster elections of 1918 refused to recognise the Parliament of the United Kingdom and instead assembled as a unicameral, revolutionary parliament called "Dáil Éireann".
The establishment of the First Dáil occurred on the same day as the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence. After elections in 1921 the First Dáil was succeeded by the Second Dáil of 1921-1922.
The first meeting of Dáil Éireann took place in the Round Room of the Mansion House on 21 January 1919. On its 50th anniversary, a lecture by Professor Kevin B. Nowlan reflecting on the first Dáil was broadcast on radio prior to live coverage of the official commemoration.
Three deputies recall how they came to stand for election for the first Irish parliament.
Public opinion changed greatly between 1916 and the general election of December 1918. Members of the first Dáil recall what brought about this change.
In a bilingual radio programme for schools from 1969, boys and girls from Saleen National School, Cork, give the results of the 1918 election and explain what took place in the Mansion House on 21 January 1919.
Professor Liam Ó Briain, who had stood for election in 1918, describes the mood of the people on that day.
Máire Comerford came up from Wexford to witness the first meeting of the Dáil. She recalls what little it was possible to see and hear of the events. She also attended a social gathering afterwards.
Seán Nunan was one of the clerks appointed to manage the first meeting of the Dáil.
Joseph O'Doherty, who had been elected for Donegal North, recalls the programme of events for the meeting of the first Dáil and the reaction of the press and the public to the occasion.
Among three major documents read at the meeting of the first Dáil was the 'Democratic Programme'. Cathal O'Shannon recalls the drafting and first reading of this document.
Ernest Blythe, Richard Mulcahy, and Seán Mac Entee recall the first democratic programme how it came about and its impact.
Conor Maguire, who would later become Chief Justice of Ireland, explains how the courts were set up and describes a break through land agitation case in Kilmaine, Mayo.
The return of the Dáíl to the Round Room of the Mansion House to mark the 50th anniversary of its first meeting and to honour the surviving members of that Dáil.
A solemn and dignified occasion in Dublin's Mansion House as the political leaders of today paid tribute to those who met here in 1919 for the first meeting of the Dáil.