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Enduring legacy of the first Dail

HISTORIC: The inaugural meeting of the Dail on January 21, 1919, attracted huge crowds and there was huge excitement

TUESDAY afternoon, January 21, 1919. There was an air of anticipation and high excitement around the Mansion House as the time (3.30pm) approached for the inaugural meeting of An Dail Eireann (this was how the Sinn Fein-convoked constituent assembly was referred to in the press at the time). Orderly queues formed in Dawson Street, visitors' tickets had been already distributed and the Round Room was soon crammed. Those occupying vantage points in neighbouring windows were by no means all Sinn Fein sympathisers -- they included police chiefs and several military officers.

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