The Hays Free Press 30th January 1919 (abridged)
Twenty five members of the Sinn Féin society elected to the British house of commons assembled in Dublin this afternoon and formally constituted themselves the “Dail Eireann,” which is Irish Gaelic for “Irish Parliament.” They elected Chas. Burgess, whose Irish name is Cathal Brugha, speaker. They also adopted a declaration of independence and an address to the free nations of the world and appointed a committee consisting of Count Plunkett, Arthur Griffiths and Edward De Valera to present the claims of Ireland to self-determination to the peace conference at Paris. The two last named being in British prisons, only the venerable Count Plunkett can proceed to Paris and then only provided the British government consents to give him passports.
The walls of the hall were quaintly embellished with classic statues in plaster and coats of arms. Past lord mayors have witnessed many more exciting dramas, notably in recent years of conventions of the Nationalist party, when there were impassioned speeches and hot party contests.