Two Historic items on this one day in Irish History
RTÉ have a very nice link to their archive for the 90th Anniversary of the first Dáil.
The rather smashing lecture by Kevin B. Nolan hits some of the great highlights of what Dáil Eireann always represented to me:
A return to democratic and passive means of advancing Irish freedom
It made use of the Imperial electoral machine that already existed
It created a moral force the like of which Britain was to find difficult to resist
It asserted a democratic program that lasted despite the trouble of the War of Independence and the Civil War.
It asserted the predominance of Civil over Military
It’s a more complex story though
Oddly enough I think that the lecture fails to tackle one of the core failings of the Dáil, the inability to resist the slide into War, a problem which was driven largely by non-Dáil actors like Dan Breen & Sean Treacy who 90 years ago today effectively started the War of Independence through their actions at Soloheadbeg.
It was precisely because that predominance over military was an assertion rather than a fact that this turn of events happened. Had the control of the IRA & IRB been complete and democratic, Soloheadbeg would not have happened, but the Dáil only really gained that real power in 1924 with the effective Army Mutiny of that March.