8 January 2009 Edition
Major national event to mark First Dáil
The historic Round Room is the venue for the event which begins at 2pm on 21 January. A photographic exhibition will be on display and from 2pm, on the hour, there will be historical walking tours of the Mansion House and the surrounding streets. A commemorative publication issued by the Sinn Féin members of the Oireachtas, including reproductions of the documents adopted by the Dáil on 21 January, will be launched.
At 7pm the evening will begin with a presentation in words and images recalling key events of the First Dáil period. Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald will then host the proceedings which will commence with a presentation to Jack O’Connor, president of SIPTU, marking the centenary this month of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
The 1918 General Election was the first in which Irish women had the vote and the only woman elected in Ireland and Britain was Constance Markievicz for Sinn Féin. She became Minister for Labour in the First Dáil, one of the first women Government ministers in the world. To emphasise the role of women in the struggle special presentations will be made to women elected representatives of Sinn Féin.
The keynote speaker on 21 January will be Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams. He is expected to set out in his speech the need for all republicans to re-focus on the goal of Irish reunification as well as the continuing relevance of the First Dáil’s Democratic Programme, especially in an economic climate where rights and living standards are under attack.
• Admission to the Mansion House on 21 January is free and all are welcome.