Ireland’s Independence Day

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

The Declaration of Independence was a document adopted by Dáil Éireann, at its first meeting in the Mansion House, Dublin, on 21 January 1919. It followed from the Sinn Féin election manifesto of December 1918. Texts of the declaration were adopted in three languages: Irish, English and French.
The Irish Republic claimed jurisdiction over the whole island of Ireland. The declaration made no mention of the independence of the 32-county geographic island, just the independence of the ‘Irish nation’ or ‘Irish people’. It was rivalled by the British administration of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, but as the Irish War of Independence went on, it increased its legitimacy in the eyes of most Irish people.
Under international law, the declaration satisfied the principle of the ‘declarative theory of statehood’, but in 1919 almost all states followed the ‘constitutive theory of statehood’ and therefore did not recognise the Irish…

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