April 1919


Apr-1 to 4-19/1

Second Session of the First Dáil

52 TDs attended. De Valera elected President of Council of Ministers or Príomh-Aire and appoints a cabinet. (With 52 TDs attending, this is the largest of any of the Dáil sessions which took place between 21st January 1919 and 10th May 1921.) 

The Dáil met over three days.

More Detail  


The proceedings of this Dáil session can be found at the following links:

April 1st: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1919-04-01/

April 2nd: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1919-04-02/

April 4th: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1919-04-04/


See Apr-10 to 12-19/1 for Third Session of the First Dáil.


Curran J M (1980), pg25; MacEoin in The Kerryman (1955), pg 14; Macardle (1999), pg 284; Gallagher (1953), pgs 66-67; Molyneux and Kelly (2020), pgs 83-84; Mitchell (1995), pgs 32-36 & 57-60; O’Sullivan Greene (2020), pg 4; Coogan (1990), pg 98


An t-Óglach states that “The [Irish] Volunteers are the right arm of the Irish Republic, the men who can be trusted to carry out the will of the Irish Government with the readiness and effectiveness of disciplined men.”

Mitchell points out that this assertion did not mean that the “Volunteers would be controlled and directed by the Dáil government”.


Mitchell (1995), pg 66


Irish Volunteers attempt to free a prisoner (Robert Byrne or Byrnes) in the Limerick Union Hospital results in the death of one RIC man (Constable Martin O'Brien) and the prisoner. 

On the 9th April, Limerick was declared a Special Military Area and this led directly to the Limerick Trades Council calling a general strike on the 13th April which lasted almost two weeks. This became known as the Limerick Soviet.

More Information  

Hopkinson (2002), pg 106; Abbott (2002), pgs 33-35; Brennan (1980), pg 37; O’Farrell (1997), pgs 12 &103; O’Callaghan (2018), pgs 55-57; Corbett (2008), pgs 46-49; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 110; Mitchell (1995), pgs 179-180; Macardle (1999), pg 292; Mac Conmara (2021), pg 60


Late this evening, Detective Ned Broy of the DMP allows Michael Collins and Sean Nunan into the office of Inspector Ned McFeely of the G Division of the DMP in 1 Great Brunswick St.

The G Division of the DMP was the section responsible for investigating political crime.  After spending most of night in the secure room, Collins got a deep insight into the modus operandi of the G Division. (He also takes with him the record of people who have phoned the DMP with Volunteer positions during the 1916 Rising.)

See Apr-09-19/1.


Abbott (2000), pgs 40-41; Coogan (1990), pg 107; Price (2017), pg 76

Doyle (2008), pg 33; Molyneux and Kelly (2020), pgs 87-89

Apr-8 to 9-19/1

Sinn Féin Ard Fheis held in Dublin.  De Valera re-elected President.  Harry Boland defeats Darrel Figges for the post of Honorary Secretary.  (Figgis claims that the vote was marshalled by IRB and Irish Volunteers within Sinn Féin).  Bean Siobhan Paora is acting Treasurer along with Eamonn Duggan.  (Boland is replaced as Honorary Secretary by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington when Boland went to the United States in mid-May.)


Figgis (1927), pg 247; O’Farrell (1997), pg 86; Molyneux and Kelly (2020), pg 93; Mitchell (1995), pgs 37 & 113


After Collins sees the files held on the Irish Volunteers (see Apr-07-19/1) by the G Division of the DMP in the Brunswick St DMP Station, he issues warnings to selected 'G' men (members of the G division of the DMP).  In the following days, a number of G men were accosted and threatened. 

More Detail

See also Jul-30-19/1.

Abbott (2000), pgs 40-41;  Coogan (1990), pg 107; Price (2017), pg 76; Doyle (2008), pg 34; Molyneux and Kelly (2020), pgs 89-90


The Irish Volunteers raid the small British army station at Ned’s Point in Inishowen in Co. Donegal and remove all guns and ammunition.  Most of the soldiers stationed at Ned’s Point were at a local dance.


Ó Duibhir (2009), pg 106


Writing to Churchill, French says that “We are suffering terribly in Ireland for the want of a proper Criminal Investigation Department.  There used to be quite an effective one, but Mr. Birrell [former Chief Secretary for Ireland] for reasons best known to himself broke it up entirely.”


Sheehan (2017), pg 74


Counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Roscommon and Tipperary proclaimed as being in a state of disturbance.


Abbott (2000), pg 67

Apr-10 to 12- 19/1

Third Session of First Dáil

Business carried out on issues such as the Dáil Loan, ostracising of the RIC and the establishment of embassies.  (The roll call of TDs lists 50 names but the oft-reproduced photograph of the TDs attending has 41 in the photograph.  It was taken April 10th.)

The Dáil meets over two days.


More Detail


The proceedings of the Dáil on these two dates can be found at:

April 10th: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1919-04-10/

April 11th: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1919-04-11/




See May-09-19/1 for Fourth Session of First Dáil

Curran J M (1980), pg25; Macardle (1999), pg 288; Valiulis (1985), pg 16; Townshend (2014), pg 90; Molyneux and Kelly (2020), pgs 90-92; Mitchell (1995), pgs 36-37 & 69; O’Sullivan Greene (2020), pg 4


The Irish Weekly reports that Louis J Walsh (from Ballycastle, Co. Antrim) had told the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis that attention should be given to Ulster as the “organisation had not sufficiently grappled with that question”.


Phoenix (1994), pg 65


In Amritsar in the Punjab, India, soldiers under the command of Brigadier General Reginald Dyer – without warning - open fire on a large crowd of peaceful, unarmed civilians in the Jallianwalla Bagh (a large public walled garden) killing officially 379 people and wounding approximately 2000.  (Some sources put the number of fatalities and casualties much higher.)  This act of mass killing became known as the Amritsar Massacre.


More Detail


Tharoor (2019), pgs 23-25; Morgan (1979), pg 123; Satia (2020), pg 139


BA soldier, Philip Fay, dies in George V Hospital in Dublin.  He had committed suicide.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 549


Three-man Irish-American delegation meets President Wilson in Paris.  Wilson says that he can only apply pressure on Lloyd George privately. (Hopkinson's reference for showing that this private pressure was applied was one of the Irish-American delegation - Frank P Walsh).

Under pressure from Wilson, Llyod George agreed to meet the Irish-American delegation but twice cancelled these meetings.  Under further pressure from Wilson, Llyod George agrees that the ‘three accursed Americans’ can travel to Ireland to ‘to study the situation on the spot’. 

See May-03-19/1.


Hopkinson (2002), pg 167; Fanning (2013), pg 198; Mitchell (1995), pgs 39-40


There is a raid on Araglin RIC barracks by the Fermoy Battalion of the Irish Volunteers led by Michael Fitzgerald (O/C Fermoy Battalion) and Con Leddy (O/C Araglin Company). 

They take away six carbines and a revolver.  Fermoy Battalion belongs to Cork No. 2 Brigade.


O'Donnoghue (1986), pg46


BA soldier, Harold Wayne, drowns in Fermoy, Co. Cork.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 549


Asked for a more explicit definition of what was meant by the ostracism of the RIC approved by the Dáil (see Apr-10 to 12-19/1), the secretary to the Dáil, Diarmaid O’Hegarty, wrote that the RIC and DMP should be treated as “persons who, having been adjudged guilty of treason to their country, are regarded as unworthy to enjoy any of the privileges or comforts which arise from cordial relations with the public”.

He continued  “the Police forces … must receive no social recognition from the people; that no … intercourse is permitted with them; they should not saluted or spoken to in the streets not their salutes returned; that they should not be invited to nor received in private houses as friends or guests; that they should be debarred from participation in games, sports, dances and all social functions conducted by the people … that, in a word, the police shd be treated as persons who [have] been adjudged guilty of treason to the country”. 

Hughes notes that “The message disseminated slowly and the shunning of the police grew sporadically”.


Hughes (2016), pg 25; Mitchell (1995), pg 69


A proclamation is issued by Cumman na mBan HQ asking the public not to acknowledge RIC or sit beside them in church.  Traders were asked not to sell them goods. 


Hughes (2016), pg 25


Michael Walsh, an Irish Volunteer from Ring, Co. Waterford, approaches Ballinagoul RIC barracks to seek help with a fracas in a local pub between republicans and the crew of a British Navy vessel.  However, the RIC man on duty (Constable McCarthy) thought he was under attack and shot through the door, fatally wounding Walsh.  Constable McCarthy was dismissed from the RIC.

McCarthy says that the shooting happened on the April 29th but O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say that the fracas happened on April 25th (and that Walsh dies on May 11th.)


McCarthy (2015), pg 63; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 110


A BA soldier, Charles Kirk, is accidently shot dead in Hollywood, Co. Down.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 110


The Waterford Standard reports that following a brawl between Sinn Féin and Redmondite supporters in Waterford City, William Grant (a Redmondite) was killed.

McCarthy (2015), pg 65; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 110


The Irish Self-Determination League (ISDL) of Great Britain formed in London.  (Macardle says April and Boyce says March.) 

Art O’Brien is elected President and Sean McGrath as Treasurer.  It grows to have some 300 branches by the summer of 1921.  Its membership is never large but it does a lot of publicity work in Britain for the Irish cause.


Macardle (1999), pg 285; Boyce (1972), pg 86


Hopkinson says that a failed attempt to disarm two RIC policemen at Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford results in the wounding of two Volunteers.

However, Macardle says that Michael Walsh and two other men are shot dead by police in Longford in the last week of April.

Coleman says that the two volunteers (Michael McNally and Matt Brady) were wounded when trying to disarm two RIC men at Aughnacliffe (with Brady being badly wounded). Coleman says that this incident led to a ‘hostile spirit’ towards the RIC in Longford.  (Coleman makes no mention of anyone being killed by the RIC in this period and nor do O’Halpin and Ó Corráin.)


Hopkinson (2002), pg 142; Macardle (1999), pg 292; Coleman (2003), pg 116


Writing privately, Collins says “At the present moment things are remarkably high-pitched.  It is most interesting to watch from day to day the downfall of the stern Government regime. Not indeed that it is ended … but the impotence of the military governors is gradually taking them into a position which is almost chaotic. Certain it is that we are fast reaching the breaking point, and then…”.


Pakenham (1967), pg 39


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