Dáil Éireann Bond Certificates
Of the £1,120,328 collected by the Dáil and held in Dublin during the Irish War of Independence, 67% came from the USA. By the end of the war, the Dáil could call on a further $3m (ca. £750,000) on deposit in US banks. Funds raised in America played a crucial role in determining the outcome of the Irish War of Independence.
Commonly known as the ‘bond drive’, the First External Loan was launched in New York on 17 January 1920. As ‘President of Ireland’, Éamon de Valera received the freedom of the city from Mayor Hylan, who purchased the first bond of the issue in a ceremony open to the press.
De Valera explained the terms of the loan to the journalists in attendance, using the language of statehood while taking care not to misrepresent his case.
‘It will be distinctly understood by each subscriber to the loan that he is making a free gift of his money. Repayment of the amount subscribed is contingent wholly upon the recognition of the Irish Republic as an independent nation.’
To avoid accusations of fraud, the Dáil’s bonds were called ‘bond certificates’, which were exchangeable for bonds of the Irish Republic once that entity had gained international recognition.
The Dáil launched three successful bond issues in the course of the war of independence:
- The National Loan in Ireland in 1919-20
- The First External Loan Scheme in the US in 1920
- The Second External Loan Scheme in the US in 1921
A fourth bond drive, in Argentina, was launched in late 1921 but was cut short by the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
$30 Dáil Éireann Bond Certificate
- Second Series (15th November 1921)
- Signed by Eamon de Valera
- Approved by Dáil Éireann, August 16th, 1921