Puneet Varma (Editor)

1919 in Ireland

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Centuries:  18th 19th 20th 21st
1919 in Ireland
Decades:  1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s

Events from the year 1919 in Ireland.



  • 21 January - Dáil Éireann meets for the very first time in the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin. It comprises Sinn Féin members elected in the 1918 general election who, in accordance with their manifesto, have not taken their seats in the Parliament of the United Kingdom but chosen to declare an independent Irish Republic. In the first shots of the Irish War of Independence, two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men are killed by members of the Third Tipperary Brigade in the Soloheadbeg Ambush in Tipperary.
  • 3 February - Éamon de Valera, the leader of Sinn Féin, John Milroy and John McGarry escaped from Lincoln Prison in England in a break arranged by Sinn Féin members including Michael Collins and Harry Boland.
  • 27 January - General strike call in Belfast and Glasgow.
  • 1 April - Fifty-two members of Sinn Féin attend the second meeting of Dáil Éireann. Seán T. O'Kelly is elected Ceann Comhairle and Éamon de Valera is elected President of Dáil Éireann.
  • 2 April - Constance Markievicz is appointed Minister for Labour, becoming the first Irish female Cabinet Minister (the only one for sixty years) and the first in Western Europe.
  • 15–19 April - "Limerick Soviet": a general strike called by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council, as a protest against the declaration of a "Special Military Area" under the Defence of the Realm Act covering of most of the city of Limerick and its surroundings.
  • 18 April - 1,000 delegates from all over Ireland attend the Sinn Féin Ard-Fheis in Dublin. Éamon de Valera is elected President of the organisation.
  • 19 April - Sinn Féin proposes an Executive Council of the Irish National Alliance to challenge the right of any foreign parliament to make laws for Ireland.
  • 13 May - Two Royal Irish Constabulary members are killed and Irish Republican Army volunteers, Dan Breen and Seán Treacy are wounded while rescuing Seán Hogan from a guarded train carriage at Knocklong County Limerick.
  • 17 May - The first Republican law court is set up, at Ballinrobe, County Mayo.
  • 14 June - Captain Alcock and Lieutenant Brown arrive in Clifden, County Galway following their 1,900 mile transatlantic flight.
  • 18 June - Dáil establishes the National Arbitration Courts.
  • 30 July - First assassination of a Royal Irish Constabulary officer carried out by The Squad (Irish Republican Army unit), newly formed under the orders of Michael Collins, when Detective Sergeant Pat "the Dog" Smyth of G division is shot near Drumcondra, Dublin.
  • 12 August - St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh, is consecrated.
  • 8 September - "The sack of Fermoy": drunken British forces rampage through Fermoy following an inquest on the previous death of a British soldier which fails to find for murder.
  • 12 September - Dáil Éireann is declared illegal by the British authorities. There are raids on Sinn Féin centres and Ernest Blythe is arrested.
  • 4 November - The British Cabinet's Irish Committee settles on a policy of creating two Home Rule parliaments - one in Dublin and one in Belfast - with a Council of Ireland to provide a framework for possible unity.
  • 19 December - Volunteers from Dublin and Tipperary under the leadership of Paddy Daly undertook an ambush on Lord French's motorcade of three cars at Ashtown Road in Dublin. Lord French was the British Viceroy, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Supreme Commander of the British Army in Ireland. While three of French's party, two RIC and a driver, were wounded French got through unharmed. Volunteer Martin Savage was killed and Dan Breen wounded.
  • Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, previously Chief Rabbi of Belfast, is appointed to serve in Dublin.
  • Arts and literature

  • October - W. B. Yeats travels to the United States and begins a lecture tour lasting until May 1920. In this year also Yeats publishes a major revision of The Wild Swans at Coole (including "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" "The Phases of the Moon", "The Scholars" and "On being asked for a War Poem"), Two Plays for Dancers and "A Prayer for My Daughter".
  • Harry Clarke's illustrations to an edition of Tales of Mystery & Imagination are published.
  • Francis Ledwidge's Complete Poems are published posthumously, edited by Lord Dunsany.
  • C. S. Lewis, writing as Clive Hamilton, publishes Spirits in Bondage: a cycle of lyrics, his first published work, in London.
  • 'An Seabhac' (Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha)'s semi-autobiographical comic story Jimín Mháire Thaidhg is published.
  • Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)

  • All Ireland Senior Hurling Final
  • Cork 6-4 d Dublin 2-4

  • All Ireland Senior Football Final
  • Kildare 2-5 d Galway 0-1


  • Irish League
  • Irish Cup
  • International
  • January to June

  • 26 January - Tom Aherne, soccer player (died 1999).
  • 30 January - Robert Lowry, Baron Lowry, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland (died 1999).
  • 23 February - Johnny Carey, soccer player and manager (died 1995).
  • 18 March - G. E. M. Anscombe, analytic philosopher (died 2001).
  • 3 April - Myles McKeon, former Roman Catholic Bishop of Bunbury, Australia.
  • 3 April - Eoghan Ó Tuairisc, poet and writer (died 1982).
  • 9 April - Gordon Lambert, art collector, member of the Seanad (died 2005).
  • 1 May - Dan O'Herlihy, actor (died 2005).
  • 5 May - Séamus Ennis, Uilleann piper, singer and folk-song collector (died 1982).
  • 9 May - Joseph Bermingham, former Irish Labour Party TD (died 1995).
  • 9 May - Anne Yeats, painter and stage designer (died 2001).
  • 8 June - Constantine Fitzgibbon, historian and novelist (died 1983).
  • 10 June - Kevin O'Flanagan, physician, rugby and soccer player and Olympic official (died 2006).
  • July to December

  • 7 July - Fred Kiernan, soccer player (died 1981).
  • 15 July - Iris Murdoch, novelist and philosopher (died 1999).
  • 21 July - Roderick Gill, cricketer (died 1983).
  • 15 August - Benedict Kiely, writer, broadcaster and journalist (died 2007).
  • 15 September - Michael ffrench-O'Carroll, Independent TD and Senator (died 2007).
  • 25 October - Jimmy Rudd, soccer player (died 1985).
  • 27 October - James Joseph Magennis, British Royal Navy submariner awarded Victoria Cross for taking part in Operation Struggle in 1945 (died 1986).
  • 1 November - Gerard Slevin, former Chief Herald of Ireland (died 1997).
  • 5 November - Seamus Twomey, twice chief of staff of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (died 1989).
  • 11 December - Digby McLaren, geologist and palaeontologist in Canada (died 2004).
  • Full date unknown

  • Sean 'ac Donncha, traditional singer (died 1996).
  • Dave Creedon, Cork hurler (died 2007).
  • Vivian Mercier, literary critic (died 1989).
  • J. J. O'Reilly, Cavan Gaelic footballer (died 1952).
  • Tony Reddin, Tipperary hurler.
  • Deaths

  • 9 January - John Danaher, soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1881 near Pretoria, South Africa (born 1860).
  • 13 February - William Temple, recipient of the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1863 at Rangiriri, New Zealand (born 1833).
  • 21 February - John O'Connor Power, Irish Nationalist politician and MP (born 1846).
  • 6 March - Pierce McCan, member of 1st Dáil representing Tipperary East.
  • 20 March - William Hone, cricketer (born 1842).
  • 30 April - John Pentland Mahaffy, classicist (born 1839).
  • 8 June - Coslett Herbert Waddell, priest and botanist (born 1858).
  • 25 June - William Martin Murphy, Nationalist (Irish Parliamentary Party) MP, newspaper proprietor, leader of employer's syndicate in the Dublin Lockout of 1913 (born 1844).
  • 25 July - Samuel McCaughey, pastoralist, politician and philanthropist in Australia (born 1835).
  • 5 September - Joseph Ivess, member of the New Zealand House of Representatives (born 1844).
  • 31 December - Con Lehane, socialist active in the Irish Socialist Republican Party, the Social Democratic Federation, and the Socialist Party of Great Britain (born 1877).
  • Full date unknown

  • Patrick Egan, treasurer of the Irish Land League, fled to the United States, United States Minister to Chile (born 1841).
  • References

    1919 in Ireland Wikipedia

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