Fianna Fáil Senator Keith Swanick says he’s hopeful that his Declaration of Independence Bill Day will be made law and will see the anniversary of the meeting of the first Dáil formally recognised.

The first Dáil sat on the 21st January 1919 and Senator Swanick is hopeful that the legislation recognising this important event be enacted before the 100th anniversary next year.

“The 1918 general election and meeting of the first Dáil on 21 January 1919 transformed this island and changed the course of our history. It was an exciting and progressive period in Ireland, seeing the implementation of a new democratic programme as well as the extension of the vote to women aged 30 and over. The Representation of the People Act 1918 caused the electorate to almost triple. It also saw our first female representative Countess Markievicz elected ”, said Senator Swanick.

“The Declaration of Independence Day Bill seeks to formally recognise 21st January and allow for it to be commemorated by schools, public bodies and community groups. I am not proposing a public holiday but I believe the importance of this occasion needs to be marked.

“The Bill received widespread support in the Seanad and has now passed Second Stage. Next year is the 100th anniversary of the first Dáil meeting and it would be extremely fitting if the legislation was in place before then”.