The Seanad has passed a bill to recognise an Irish Day of Independence 2 years ago

The Seanad has passed a bill to recognise an Irish Day of Independence

It's hoped that the bill will become law within the year.

The Seanad has passed a bill which sought to designate 21 January as the Irish Declaration of Independence Day.


The Declaration of Independence Day Bill 2017, which was tabled by Fianna Fáil but with wider support, was passed by Seanad Éireann on Wednesday afternoon.

The bill seeks to formally recognises 21 January as "Declaration of Independence Day" as it was on this date in 1919 that the inaugural meeting of the first Dáil took place in the Round Room at Dublin's Mansion House.

Despite Ireland proclaiming its independence from the UK back in 1916, the new and official day of independence falls on the same day as the Dáil's first meeting.

The bill is being spearheaded by Fianna Fáil Senator Keith Swanick, who hopes that the legislation will be formally recognised and passed into law ahead of the event's centenary 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," Swanick said in a statement on the on the party's website.


"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."

There was cross-party support for the bill when it was debated at the second stage this time last year, with Senator Swanick mentioning that he believes that it would be "extremely fitting" should the legislation pass before its 100th anniversary in 2019.

It is understood, however, that this new national day will not result in a bank holiday day off, according to the senator.

"I am not proposing a public holiday but I believe the importance of this occasion needs to be marked."


Having passed both the Seanad and the Dáil, the bill is now at the hands of the President to sign it, deem it an Act and bestow legal force.