Free State or Republic

The Irish Independence Film Collection
Directed by:
Topical Film Company
Produced by:
Topical Film Company


1 min 13 sec
Silent with English Intertitles

Scenes of polling stations at the Irish general election are shown in this newsreel, where the main issue being voted on was whether the country should remain a Free State or become a full Republic –  the goal of de Valera’s Fianna Fáil party.

Crowds of people gather on Marlborough Street and Free state soldiers stand guard at the exterior of a polling station. Inside, men are seen distributing ballots as the count progresses. General Richard Mulcahy, Minister for Defence is returned. Charlotte Despard, noted republican and suffragette, stands and speaks to camera at Stephen’s Green. Despard was sister of former Viceroy Lord French and President of the Women’s Freedom League. The final intertitle introduces young Vivian (sic properly Vivion) de Valera, son of Eamon.

Richard Mulcahy was an army general and commander-in-chief for the Irish Republican Army. He later served in the cabinets of W. T. Cosgrave and John A. Costello. He fought in the 1916 Easter Rising, served as Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence and became commander of the pro-treaty forces in the Irish Civil War after the death of Michael Collins. General Mulcahy’s uniform from 1922 is currently held in the National Museum of Ireland.