Democratic Programme


About this Item

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.

  • Title
    The First Dáil
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Seán Mac Réamoinn (Presenter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Clip title
    Democratic Programme
  • Extended description

    Three major documents were read at the first meeting of the Dáil, including the declaration of independence and an appeal to the free nations of the world to recognise Ireland as a state in its own right. There was also a declaration of social policy, 'The Democratic Programme'.

    This programme of social intent was largely a Labour Party initiative. It was originally drafted by party members Tom Johnson, Cathal O'Shannon, William O'Brien.

    Cathal O'Shannon describes the general aim of this document, how it was written and how when the 'Democratic Programme' was read at the first Dáil some changes had been made to the original draft. 

  • Information

    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. To honour the 50th anniversary of the this event the first sitting of the Dáíl for 1969 took place in the Round Room of the Mansion House.

    RTÉ marked the occasion with programmes on radio and television. The RTÉ Guide listing for 'The First Dáil' programme was, "The origins, establishment and achievements of the first Parliament of the Irish Republic. A Jubilee survey arranged and presented by Seán Mac Réamoinn and Howard Kinlay. Historical Adviser: Kevin B. Nowlan."

    (RTÉ Guide January 17, 1969 vol. 6 No 4. p10)

  • Local keywords
    Dáil Éireann, Politics, Elections, 1919, 1969, William O'Brien, Seán T O'Kelly, Seán Mac Réamoinn, Sinn Féin, Labour
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Politics and Economics
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    Radio Éireann
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
    27/69 (AA013042)
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
  • Item sound
  • Language used
    English (eng)