Launch of Sinn Féin publication 'An Chéad Dáil Éireann - the First Dáil'
Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin today launched his party’s special publication marking the 90th anniversary of the inaugural meeting of the First Dáil Éireann. The launch took place at 3.30pm, the hour the Dáil met on 21 January 1919. Speaking at the launch Deputy Ó Caoláin called for a renewed commitment to the aims of the First Dáil.
“Sinn Féin is today issuing a special publication marking the 90th anniversary of An Chéad Dáil Éireann. Published by our Oireachtas members Arthur Morgan TD, Martin Ferris TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Senator Pearse Doherty and myself, it is of historical and contemporary interest. For us the importance of the First Dáil is its relevance in 2009 and the fact that it underlines the need to work for the reunification of Irelandand for social justice on this island.
“This publication includes the three key documents adopted by the Dáil on 21 January – the Declaration of Independence, the Message to the Free Nations of the World and the Democratic Programme – as well as the 1916 Proclamation, the Sinn Féin Manifesto in the 1918 Election and a commemorative booklet.
“When the first TDs met at this time exactly 90 years ago they were at one in their absolute commitment to an independent United Ireland. They were totally opposed to the British government’s proposed Partition of Ireland. Therefore no real commemoration of the First Dáil is possible without a renewed commitment on the part of all parties to Irish Unity. Sinn Féin sees this anniversary as a very appropriate time to begin a constructive national debate on the ways and means in which our country can and will be reunited by peaceful and democratic means. We want to work with others to implement a programme of reunification. That is the core aim of our party.
“The Irish Republicestablished here 90 years ago was based on the proposition that the people are sovereign and that the public right and welfare comes before the interests of private profit and property. Never was that principle of the Democratic Programme needed more than it is now. The Irish economy has been dragged into recession because of the greed of a minority of people who hold public service in contempt and who saw the State as a convenient tool for maximising their profits. It is time to reassert control of our economy for the people.” ENDS