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British Government bans Dáil Éireann

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» Mícheál Mac Donncha

FOLLOWING the Declaration of Independence of the Irish Republic and the establishment of Dáil Éireann in January 1919, the Irish people had a functioning government but one which was increasingly subject to British repression. Many TDs were in jail or on the run yet the Dáil set up a number of departments, sent diplomatic missions abroad and began replacing the British legal system with Republican Courts.

The British Government showed no sign of recognising Irish democracy. It was emboldened on the international front as Britain and France had totally dominated the post-war negotiations at the Versailles Peace Conference and blocked the efforts of representatives of Ireland, India, Egypt and other subject nations from receiving a hearing. In June, US President Woodrow Wilson admitted that he could not fulfil his much-publicised commitment to the self-determination of nations.

On 20 August, the Dáil approved an oath to the Irish Republic to be taken by all TDs and IRA Volunteers. Armed actions by the IRA were being stepped up, as were British military reprisals, raids and arrests. The IRA had begun to target the British Intelligence network and to acquire arms in greater numbers.

One of the main factors motivating the next move against the Dáil by the British Government was the success of the Dáil Éireann Loan.........

© An Phoblacht