'The First Dáil and the Democratic Programme' - an Irish Historical Society symposium to mark the centenary of the First Dáil
The Democratic Programme, adopted at the First Dáil on 21 January 1919, declared that the 'Nation's sovereignty extends ... to all its material possessions, the Nation's soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes', it reaffirmed 'that all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare'. According to the motion passed by the assembly, the first duty of the government is 'to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education and training as Citizens of a Free and Gaelic Ireland.'
In assessing the significance of the First Dáil, this symposium will consider the context which produced the Democratic Programme, examine its contents and discuss what role (if any) it played in the subsequent hundred years. Following short papers from the three speakers there will be ample time for discussion, which will be open to the floor.
Francis Devine, President, Irish Labour History Society and co-editor or Saothair, poet, author of Organising history : a centenary of SIPTU (2009)
Marie Coleman, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, author of The Irish Revolution, 1916-1923 (2014), joint editor of Irish Historical Studies
John Coakley, Professor of Politics, University College Dublin, MRIA, author of Reforming political institutions : Ireland in comparative perspective (2013)