[Irish,=diet of Ireland], the popular representative body of the Oireachtas, or National Parliament, of the Republic of Ireland. The second, smaller chamber, the Saenad Éireann, or Senate, has very limited powers, and the executive, as represented by the prime minister, is responsible to the Dáil, whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage. The members of the first Dáil were elected in Dec., 1918, ostensibly to the British Parliament, but they established themselves as a separate revolutionary body. It first convened at Mansion House, Dublin, in Jan., 1919, and proclaimed the Irish republic. The Dáil existed precariously until the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921, and established itself firmly in the period of civil war that followed. See also Ireland
; Sinn Féin
See study by J. L. McCracken (1958); B. Chubb, The Government and Politics of Ireland (2d ed. 1982).
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