1919 1st Dail and St Mel’s College


St Mel’s College and the 1st Dail in 1919


This year, 2019 we celebrate the centenary of the meeting of the First Dáil after the General  Election held on 14th December 1918. I would like to remind all of the St. Mel’s College connection of the associations with the college.

Dr. Brian Cusack who was a past pupils of St. Mel’s was elected in 1918 election to that first Dáil, for the Galway North Constituency, see photograph below.  He does not appear in the very first photograph of the first meeting of that Dáil in January 1919 as there were 38 new TDs in prison including Dr. Brian Cusack.  He appears in a later photograph taken on the 10th April in 1919 of that First Dáil.  see photograph below with all the names.

 He is in the same row as Joe McGuinness who was elected in the 1917 by-election (South Longford) and again in the 1918 election (All Longford) . Joe McGuinness beat two former St. Mel’s College students , Patrick McKenna in 1917 and PM. Farrell in 1918]






Four of the Cusack brothers were from Granard , where their father had a Drapery shop, went to St. Mel’s Patrick, Thomas, Brian and Paul.  Their father came from Cavan where some of the sons were born.

Patrick Cusack also stood in the 1918 election for the Irish Parliamentary Party in Meath North where he was beaten by Liam Mellows. Some Sinn Fein candidates stood and were elected in two constituencies and Liam Mellows was one of those.  Paul Cusack was arrested after the 1916 Easter Rising and was interned in Frongach in Wales. Thomas Cusack was the second president of the St. Mel’s Past Pupils Union in 1961-62  The Cusacks were first cousins of Kitty Kiernan, who was romantically linked with Michael Collins.

Denis Glennon-Former Principal and author of Selected Memories-1865-2015


St Mel’s and the First Dail 1919