WEEK 68: (21st – 26th January 1919)

“First meeting of Daíl Éireann. The English papers’ ingenuity was sorely taxed to find derogatory things to say about it. I have lost a great deal of interest in it on account of there being no women in it, & can’t respect it very much either, for the same reason.”

NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/35
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 29th October 1918 – 11th September 1919

WEEK 68: 21st – 26th January 1919

Tuesday 21st Jan. First meeting of Daíl Éireann. The English papers’ ingenuity was sorely taxed to find derogatory things to say about it. I have lost a great deal of interest in it on account of there being no women in it, & can’t respect it very much either, for the same reason.

The Sinn Fein members elected in the December 1918 election at the first Dail Eireann meeting, called by Sinn Fein on January 21, 1919. Shown are (from l to r): 1st row: L. Ginell, Michael Collins (leader of the Irish Republican Army), Cathal Brugha, Arthur Griffiths, Eamon de Valera, Count E. MacNeill, William Cosgrave and E. Blythe; 2nd row: P. Maloney, Terence McSwiney, Richard Mulcahy, J. O’Doherty, J. O’Mahony, J. Dolan, J. McGuinness, P. O’Keefe, Michael Staines, McGrath, Dr. B. Cussack, L. de Roiste, W. Colivet and the Reverend Father Michael O’Flanagan; 3rd row: P. War, A. McCabe, D. Fitzgerald, J. Sweeney, Dr. Hayes, C. Collins, P. O’Maillie, J. O’Mara, B. O’Higgins, J. Burke and Kevin O’Higgins; 4th row: J. McDonagh and J. McEntee; 5th row: P. B 1919 Ireland (Image from WikiCommons)

Wednesday 22 Jan. – At the committee there was a great dispute about allowing foreign dances at céilide, some C. na mb. People having come to hand over £50 from the dance, & another dance being spoken of. Mr Gallagher furiously opposed foreign dances & finally left the room in a pet. They have a ridiculous notion of

(85) buying the whole house, as Dr Kennedy objects to the noise they make.

Thursday 23rd. I went to town in the morning, & to St Declan’s a.d. Nancy had arrived there the night before. She was to be married on the 11th of Feb, and had been very busy about furniture & clothes, so was in her usual tired state of health. Mrs Bralazon was there admiring Louis, & Mrs Foster came in too with a queer solemn little girl about 4, and when they were gone Annie Rodgers came. Louis was rather fretful later on, which was put down to too many visitors, & Nancy considered that Mrs Foster had held him very badly Mrs F. was greatly impressed at D. being able to nurse him.

Friday 24th Jan. I went to a Cumann na mban gen. meeting in the evening. They are going to


have a big sort of bazaar at Easter, to get money for the election fund and for themselves.

Saturday 25 Jan. Aunt Maggie & Séan Ó Floinn both came for the weekend; she to see Louis & he to lecture at the Gaelic League. Aunt H. had Miss Bowman staying with her, so couldn’t have Aunt Maggie. She came in the afternoon & visited Dorothea and Louis before tea, and admired him greatly. Séan was very lively, he told stories about a woman who borrows his books & then pretends to others that she bought them because she can’t live without the latest books, & he thinks she might very well buy a book sometimes instead of always borrowing his. She had a millionaire visitor once, who wanted to read books about Irish history, and she asked Séan to lend him some, & he had great pleasure in replying that he would make him out a list of books, & let him buy them himself.


He was remarking on all these people will spend on gambling & betting & clothes, but they never will buy a book. And he expressed great detestation of racing, & said “all racing people ought to be poisoned. Aunt M. was amused with him & he admired her & said she was “a very pleasing person.”

Sunday 26th. Except when Seán was at mass he required someone to talk to the whole blooming time. I had to go to a meeting at the club at 4, to announce to the girls that they’re not to come any more except on Thursdays & Sundays – this being the conclusion to which they their own frivolous ways & the men’s passion for card-playing & instinct for having everything for themselves & the meekness of the leading women have brought things.  Mrs Phelan, Miss Skeffington, Mrs Gallagher & I were appointed to make rules for the girls, & I was only 1 against 3, though Miss Skeffington would fight if the


girls were sufficiently working members to make it possible to stand out for real equality for them. They were rather annoyed, & demanded Sunday & Thursday afternoons as well as nights. Then I went up to St Declan’s, where we were to hear Nancy sing. Aunt Maggie and Aunt H. and Seán were there too. Nancy had been getting lessons and certainly has improved very much, though I can’t say her expression sounds very spontaneous yet. She sang Orphes’s song to Eurydice in Italian, which was magnificent, and some things [Superscript: Slumber, Slumber] that I forget – I know where I’m going was the best – and would [God] I was the tender apple blossom, [both] without music, & the Bells of Summer. She had sung other things before I arrived. Seán enjoyed it greatly. They kept him to tea, so we had Aunt Maggie


in peace. Byron has sold Harristown at last, & his sister is living with them for the present.