As part of the 2021 Commemoration Programme, the National Archives will undertake to digitise the Cabinet Minute Books April 1919-April 1922 and the records of the Constitution Committee 1922 and making them publicly accessible.
The Cabinet Minute Books April 1919-April 1922
Following the general election of 14 December 1918, the first two sessions of Dáil Éireann or the ‘First Dáil’ were held in the Mansion House, Dublin on 21st-22nd January 1919. The third session was not held until 1st April 1919 when Eamon de Valera was elected President of Dáil Éireann (Príomh Aire). The following day, he appointed the cabinet of the new Sinn Féin government: Arthur Griffith, Secretary of Home Affairs and Deputy President; Michael Collins, Secretary of Finance; Cathal Brugha, Secretary of Defence; William T Cosgrave, Secretary of Local Government; Count George Nobel Plunkett, Secretary of Foreign Affairs; Countess Constance de Markievicz, Secretary of Labour; and Eoin MacNéill, Secretary of Industries. Robert Barton became head of the Department of Agriculture and Laurence Ginnell, head of the Department of Propaganda. The Cabinet Minute Books April 1919-April 1922 contain records of cabinet meetings from 26th April 1919 to 29th April 1922.
The Constitution Committee 1922
The Constitution Committee was appointed by the Provisional Government in January 1922 to draft the first Constitution of the Irish Free State. It was chaired initially by Michael Collins. The records held in the National Archives comprise minutes, drafts, research and administrative material produced by the workings of the Committee over a period of six weeks.
The National Archives will also continue to work in partnership with the Beyond 2022 project team and other archival institutions in Ireland and the United Kingdom, to digitally reconstruct the record treasury of the Public Record Office of Ireland, including digital copies of archives, destroyed during the Civil War in 1922.