1919 Timeline

21 January: First meeting of Dáil Éireann in Dublin’s Mansion House declares Ireland independent.

From the Houses of the Oireachtas: Dáil100.


21 January: Soloheadbeg ambush in Co. Tipperary. Two members of RIC are killed in an attack by members of the IRA under Dan Breen and Sean Treacy; this is generally regarded as the first engagement of the War of Independence.

From Century IrelandTwo policemen killed in Soloheadbeg attack.


3 February: Éamon de Valera escapes from Lincoln Prison.

From Century IrelandDe Valera in sensational escape from Lincoln Prison.


7 February: Thomas Johnson and Cathal O’Shannon admitted as Irish representatives to the International Labour and Socialist Conference – the ‘First International’ – in Berne, Switzerland.

From the Irish Trade Union Congress: Ireland at Berne.


8 February: Sinn Féin delegation arrives in Paris with intention of lobbying postwar peace conference to recognise Irish independence.

From Century Ireland: Ireland’s Paris plea for independence.


1 April: Éamon de Valera elected president of Dáil Éireann


14-25 April: ‘Limerick Soviet’ takes place as a general strike organised by the labour movement in the city to protest against imposition of martial law; the strike committee takes on responsibility of maintaining supplies and public order in the city.


28 April: Covenent of the League of Nations signed in Paris.


3 May: Delegation from the US-based ‘Friends of Irish Freedom’ arrives in Ireland.


1 June: De Valera leaves Ireland to embark on 18-month publicity and fundraising tour of US.


3 June: Local Government (Ireland) Act comes into force.


15 June: John Alcock and Arthur Brown complete the first non-stop transatlantic flight, crash-landing in a bog near Clifden in Co. Galway.


18 June: First Dáil courts established.


28 June: Signing of Versailles Treaty officially ends war between Germany and Allied powers.


4 July: Suppression of Sinn Féin, the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan and the Gaelic League in Co. Tipperary


20 Aug: Irish Volunteers ordered to swear allegiance to Dáil Éireann.


10 Sept: Sinn Féin and and a range of other nationalist organistions banned in Co. Cork.


12 Sept: Dáil Éireann declared illegal by British authorities.


Nov 11: publication of first issue of the Dáil’s new propaganda organ, The Irish bulletin.


19 Dec: IRA attempt to assassinate the viceroy, Lord French of Ypres, near Dublin’s Phoenix Park.



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