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12 September 1922: The Dáil debates unemployment

Read Jason Knirck’s essay on financing the Irish State on Century Ireland.

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, features 50 essays from leading international scholars that explore a turning point in history, one whose legacy remains controversial a century on. Building on their own expertise, and on the wealth of recent scholarship provoked by the Decade of Centenaries, each contributor focuses on one event that illuminates a key aspect of revolutionary Ireland, demonstrating how the events of this year would shape the new states established in 1922. Together, these essays explore many of the key issues and debates of a year that transformed Ireland.

In collaboration with Century Ireland(link is external), we are making the 50 essays freely available online. Today’s essay is by Jason Knirck and it details the Dáil’s debate concerning unemployment.

At a sitting of the third Dáil on 12 September 1922, as the government’s handling of the civil war came under attack, long-time Sinn Féiner Darrell Figgis criticised President W.T. Cosgrave’s refusal to provide an economic plan upon his election as president of the Executive Council and demanded he set an early date to discuss taxation policy. As the deputies continued to debate the economic direction of the new state, Minister for Agriculture Patrick Hogan, not particularly known as a Gaelic enthusiast or Sinn Féiner, said, ‘I hope we are not going to slavishly copy England. I hope we have some Gaelic social and economic ideals’. Hogan was echoing earlier musings of Michael Collins, who wrote, ‘We want a modern edition of our old Gaelic Social polity—a thing that…grows naturally out of our own Irish character and requirements’.When the government produced its first official budget in 1923, George Gavan Duffy told the Dáil, ‘let it not be forgotten that we are laying the foundations of a new Irish fiscal system’.Continue reading (you will be redirected to the website of Century Ireland)

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, is published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.


Ireland 1922