The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

21-gun salute and peals of church bells hail Ireland’s independen­ce


“At one minute past midnight, the thunder of a 21-gun salute, the crack of small arms, the glare of searchligh­ts, and the ringing of church bells will usher in a new era of Irish history at Dublin,” reported The Post on April 17, 1949.

“For at this time Eire officially becomes The Republic of Ireland. Police are standing by on the border with Ulster to prevent disturbanc­es. For days now Dublin has been filling with people coming from all parts of the country by road and rail.

“Mr de Valera, former Premier of Eire, will not take part in the celebratio­ns, although he received an invitation.

“Members of De Valera’s Fianna Fail party will also be absentees. The Irish Anti-Partition League has also declined to join in. Up in Ulster there is a complete black-out on celebratio­ns. The authoritie­s have taken special precaution­s to deal with any possible disorders. At the border town of Newry, 300 police will be standing by.”

Ireland, or Eire, had been a self-governing Dominion of Britain from 1922, one year after the end of the War of Independen­ce. But it was another 27 years before the country officially became the Republic of Ireland and another six before it joined the United Nations, in December 1955.

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