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Waterford 1916-1918

Waterford and Home Rule

John Redmond, MP for Waterford, was leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

In 1912, the Irish Parliamentary Party held the balance of power in Westminister and used this position of influence to leverage an agreement from the Liberal Party to introduce the Third Home Rule Bill on 11th April 1912. The Second Home Rule Bill in 1893 was prevented from passing when it was rejected by the House of Lords. However, the Parliament Act, 1911 which asserted the supremacy of the House of Commons and meant the House of Lords could delay bills for two years but could not prevent bills from being passed should the bill meet the required conditions meant the Third Home Rule Bill could potentially be successfully enacted following an enforced delay.

The Third Home Rule Bill had a very contentious and difficult passage through the Houses of Parliament with strenuous opposition from the Ulster Unionist Party led by Sir Edward Carson. The Ulster Volunteer Force was set up in January 1913 and pledged to use all means necessary to defeat the implementation of Home Rule in Ireland.

The Irish Volunteers, led by Eoin MacNeill, were established in November 1913 as a counter measure to support Home Rule. There were fears that these two opposing sides would meet with violence and that a civil war would erupt in Ireland. Unionists insisted that the only way the Home Rule Bill would be introduced would be if the six north-eastern counties were excluded.

The Government of Ireland Bill passed, received Royal Assent and was placed on the statute books on 18th September 1914. Throughout the process of the passage of Home Rule through the British Parliamentary system the people of Waterford expressed their ongoing support for John Redmond as their MP and as the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party that would bring Home Rule to Ireland.

However, the outbreak of the First World War meant that the Home Rule Bill was put on the statute books as a piece of legislation in suspension awaiting the end of the war for enactment.

John Redmond, MP called for Irish nationalists to answer the call to arms at a speech in Woodenbridge in Wicklow on 20th September 1914 and join the British Armed Forces in the belief that this would bring Irishmen, north and south, together in the face of a common enemy and that by joining the war effort the Irish Volunteers could demonstrate that the British Parliament had nothing to fear in granting Home Rule to Ireland.

Waterford & Unionism

Although led by Sir Edward Carson and very closely associated with Ulster Unionism the opposition to Home rule was not limited to Ulster.

There were Irish Unionist Party supporters in Waterford, and indeed Waterford was one of the locations outside Ulster where people opposed to Home Rule, and born in Ulster, were given the opportunity to sign the Ulster Covenant.

In response to the introduction of the Home Rule Bill in April 1912, the Irish Unionist Party introduced the Ulster Covenant – a pledge to defend against the introduction of Home Rule “by whatever means necessary”.

The Unionist opposition to Home Rule in Waterford was led by Sir William Goff and Bishop Henry O’Hara, Church of Ireland, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. Sir William Goff in his opposition to Home Rule argued that the introduction of Home Rule would be detrimental to the prosperity of Ireland, damaging to trade, would increase taxes and lead to the separation of Ireland.

Sir William Goff attempted to hold a meeting of unionists in City Hall in Waterford but was refused use of City Hall for this purpose by the Mayor of Waterford. Instead, the meeting was held at his home at Glenville on 13th June 1912.

Shortly after Ulster Day, 28th September 1912, when Unionists signed the Solemn League and Covenant – Bishop O’Hara presided over a special prayer service in Christchurch Cathedral at which Ulster men and women resident in Waterford could sign the Ulster Covenant. You can search for the Waterford signatories of the Ulster Covenant online on the Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.

The Waterford signatories included: John Brown, Morley Terrace; HJ Cashel, The Palace, Waterford; BL Caskey, William Street; Deborah Helen Chambers and Richard S. Chambers, South Parade; Frederick Chapman, Lady Lane; KS Dobbin, HMS Prison, Waterford; Besey C. Duffin, Newland; Emily Fitzgerald, The Club, Waterford; Henry James, Ballinakill.

Waterford & the National Volunteers

National Volunteer groups were established throughout Waterford City and County in 1913 in response to the call to defend Home Rule against the threat from the Ulster Volunteer Force. Accounts from the Bureau of Military History and the Military Service Pensions show there were Irish National Volunteers branches set up in: Aglish; Ardmore; Ballymacarbry; Bonmahon; Dungarvan; Dunhill; Kill; Knockboy; Lismore; Old Parish; Ring; Stradbally; Tramore and Waterford City.

Large public meetings were held to call on people to join the Irish Volunteers. In March 1914, a launch meeting was held of the newly formed Waterford City branch of the Irish Volunteers and about 500 men marched to City Hall led by the Barrack Street Brass Band and the Erin’s Hope Fife and Drum band. The meeting was addressed by Eoin MacNeill, leader of the Irish Volunteers. Robert A. Kelly was appointed Chairman of the Waterford City branch of the Irish Volunteers. The Committee were: Dr. Vincent White; Edmund Bolton; PW Kenny; Seán Mathews; Patrick Brazil; JD Walsh and Patrick Woods.

According to Pat McCarthy in his book The Irish Revolution 1912-23 – Waterford there were over 700 men divided into 8 companies in the Waterford branch of the Irish Volunteers and they drilled on the grounds of the Courthouse with route marches being held on Sundays.

A mass meeting was held on 22nd April 1914 in Dungarvan and was addressed by Michael Joseph O’Rahilly known as The O’Rahilly.

According to Patrick Ormond in his statement to the Bureau of Military History about 500 men in the Dungarvan district enrolled. A mass meeting was held in Lismore in June. The groups were usually trained by ex-Brtish Army men, such as Maurice O’Brien, who trained the National Volunteers in Bonmahon. They drilled and trained with makeshift weapons, in Stradbally wooden guns for drilling were made by local carpenter Reg Cunningham.

According to Pat McCarthy a report of the 28th July 1914 to the Irish Volunteers Headquarters shows two brigades of Irish Volunteers in Waterford each with four battalions. East Waterford had 2349 members with battalions in the City, Gaultier and two battalions in the Comeragh Mountains. West Waterford had 1385 members with 2 battalions in the Dungarvan area and a battalion in the Blackwater Valley and one in the Knockmealdown Mountains.

In addition to the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan was established in Waterford City in July 1914 with Alice Colfer as President and Rosamund Jacob as Secretary.

The violent response of British troops to the Howth gun running in July, in contrast to the lack of response to similar actions by the Ulster Volunteer Force, led to outrage amongst Irish nationalists and on 28th July the Volunteers in Waterford paraded to Ballybricken Hill for a mass meeting to support the Volunteers. PA Murphy was among the speakers and according to the newspapers of the time he told the crowd

“…any attempt made to take from the city of Waterford volunteers, any rifle or ammunition while the Ulster Volunteers were allowed to retain their arms would be resisted to the bitter end”.

The outbreak of the First World War caused a rift in the National Volunteers. John Redmond called on members of the National Volunteers to join the British Army in September 1914 and Eoin MacNeill, Pádraig Pearse and The O’Rahilly rejected this call.

However, many of the companies of National Volunteers responded, particularly in Waterford City with its close connection to John Redmond. The Corporation, County Council and the Unionists in Waterford were all behind the call to join up and many businesses showed their support by promising to hold the jobs of any of their employees joining up.

The National Volunteers broke up completely following the split, but in a number of cases smaller Irish Volunteer companies were established, although in the case of Ring, Degulain O’Regáin reported that all of this company sided with the Irish Volunteers as was the case in Ardmore where James Prendergast reported likewise.

Waterford & 1916

JJ “Ginger” O’Connell was appointed an organiser of the Irish Volunteers by Eoin MacNeill and in April 1915 he visited Waterford.

The Irish Volunteers in Waterford were led by Seán Mathews and included Willie “Liam” Walsh, Peader Woods and Patrick Brazil. In Dungarvan, the Irish Volunteers included: Patrick Ormonde; George Lennon; Jimmy Fraher; Peter Cullinane; Thomas Parsons; Michael Morrissey; Patrick Croke; Pax Whelan; Joseph Wyse, PC O’Mahony and Phil O’Donnell.

Pax Whelan, a member of the Irish Volunteers in Dungarvan was among the group of Waterford Volunteers present at the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa in August 1915. A requiem mass was held for O’Donovan Rossa at Waterford Cathedral and this was attended by the Mayor and members of Waterford Corporation.

Pádraig Pearse and JJ O’Connell came to Waterford in November 1915 to attend the Manchester Martyrs Commemoration and took the opportunity to meet with Seán Mathews and JD Walsh to tell them about the proposed Easter Rising. Pearse was told that Waterford City could raise 30 men but with only a couple of rifles and some revolvers and as a result Seán Mathews reported that Pearse told them they did not have enough to fight in Waterford and should go to Wexford and join the volunteers there. According to Nicholas Whittle in Tramore, in his statement to the Bureau of Military History, he contacted Patrick Brazil in Waterford City to let him know that he knew where he could get arms that had been decommissioned by the National Volunteers.

In January 1916, PC O’Mahony, a member of the Irish Volunteers, who worked in the Post Office in Dungarvan was visited by Liam Mellows in Dungarvan and he told him that there were 21 men available in Dungarvan and they had some arms – they were directed to go to Waterford to assist Seán Mathews.

On Thursday April 19th Maeve Cavanagh was asked by James Connolly to go to Waterford and meet with Seán Mathews to tell him that Dublin would be Rising on Easter Sunday at 6.30pm. She met Marie Preolz at the train station and she took a message from Sean McDermott to PO O’Mahony in Dungarvan with the news – he was on night duty in the Telegraph Office. On the 21st April Seán Mathews called his men together with orders that they were to mobilise on Easter Sunday at 6.30pm with arms and rations. On Easter Saturday Eoin MacNeill called off the Rising and JJ O’Connell travelled to Waterford to inform Seán Mathews and then travelled to Kilkenny to demobilise the men there. Willie “Liam” Walsh from Waterford City was to attend the annual GAA Congress in Dublin and it was decided he would try and find out what was happening and would wire Peader Woods “going to Fairyhouse Races” if the Rising was off and “Going to Waterford” if the Rising was to go ahead. He could find no news and wired on Easter Monday at 11.30am that the Rising was off.

In the meantime, Maeve Cavanagh was again dispatched on Sunday night from Dublin with a sealed envelope to take to Waterford and on Monday morning she travelled with her brother to the Metropole Hotel as the people in the hotel were sympathetic and Seán Mathews was sent for. He went to consult his men and came back to say that the Volunteers were out in Dublin. The Waterford Volunteers assembled and approached the Waterford General Post Office to find it occupied by the Royal Irish Constabulary and British troops. Seán Mathews then asked Maeve Cavanagh to go to Kilkenny to mee up with JJ O’Connell to see if there was a possibility of the Waterford men joining an action there. Due to the cancellation of the trains she was unable to get to Kilkenny until Wednesday and returned with a dispatch from JJ O’Connell saying there was no possibility of action.

In Dungarvan, PC O’Mahony had received the telegraph from Willie “Liam” Walsh confirming a cancellation of the Rising and no further dispatch was received. However, he was on duty at the Post Office at 8pm where he found a note stating that all communication with Dublin had broken down and having decoded a police telegram advising an ammunition train with a small military guard would be passing through Dungarvan that night he assembled 12 men to ambush this train two miles outside Dungarvan. The only train that passed was a goods train and having stopped and searched it they sent it on its way.

PC O’Mahony was arrested along with Dan Fraher, Phil Walsh and Peter Raftis. Willie “Liam” Walsh and James Nowlan who were in Dublin but unable to get through the barricades to join the action were also arrested on 1 May when they returned to Waterford. They were all detained for 3 weeks and released without charge.

A Brief outline of 1916 Waterford events

  • November 1915 – Pádraig Pearse and JJ O’Connell visit Waterford and tell Waterford Volunteer leaders about proposed Rising
  • January 1916 – Liam Mellows visits PC O’Mahony in Dungarvan and tells him about proposed Rising
  • Thursday April 19th – Maeve Cavanagh and Marie Perolz travel to Waterford and Dungarvan with orders about the Rising on Easter Sunday 6.30pm
  • Saturday April 21st – Seán Mathews informs Waterford City Volunteers about Rising
  • Easter Sunday 22nd – JJ O’Connell brings message from Eoin MacNeill calling off the Rising
  • Willie Walsh travels to Dublin for GAA Congress to find out more
  • Easter Monday 23rd – Willie Walsh sent telegram to Seán Mathews and PC O’Mahony confirming Rising was not going ahead at 11.30am
  • Maeve Cavanagh arrives with dispatch from Connolly stating the Rising would go ahead
  • PC O’Mahony on duty at Post Office in Dungarvan and realises the Rising is underway in Dublin – takes 12 men to ambush train
  • Wednesday April 25th – Maeve Cavanagh travels by train to Kilkenny to meet JJ O’Connell and determine if Waterford volunteers should join with Kilkenny volunteers for action and returns to Seán Mathews with a direction from JJ O’Connell that no action was possible
  • May 1st – Willie Walsh and James Nowlan arrested on their return from Dublin

Waterford's 1916 Combatants

Four Waterford men took part in the 1916 Rising in Dublin :

  • John Graves
  • Liam O’Regan
  • Richard Mulcahy
  • Liam Raftis

John Graves
Graves was working as a shop assistant in Maynooth and joined the Maynooth branch of the Volunteers in 1913. He spent his time refilling cartridges and arranging for Dublin-made pikes to be sent by rail to Mayo. On Easter Monday the 15 members of the Maynooth Company of Irish Volunteers went to Dublin. On Tuesday the company was sent to the Royal Exchange Hotel and attempted to attack City Hall. They returned to the GPO that evening and were stationed there.

On the surrender of the GPO he was able to slip out the front door and make his way back to Maynooth. However, he was later arrested and brought to the Curragh and was then sent to Richmond Barracks where he was sentenced to 3 years hard labour. This was commuted to 6 months which he served in Kilmainham and Mountjoy Prisons. He was released from prison in October 1916 and he then re-joined the Volunteers.

Liam O’Regan
Liam O’Regan was also a member of the Maynooth Company under the command of Tomás Ó Broin. He was stationed at The Royal Exchange Hotel and then at the GPO where he states he was engaged in “dangerous dispatch work, guarding windows, reconnoitring enemy positions” and so on.

He also reported that he assisted in conveying the wounded to Moore Street after evacuation of the GPO, including James Connolly and he was engaged in breaking through the walls in Moore Street for reception of the garrison. He was arrested and interned until August 1916 and he then re-joined the Volunteers.

Richard Mulcahy
Mulcahy was working in the engineering department of the Post Office and joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913. He was in the Fingal battalion of the Volunteers and served as 2nd in command to Thomas Ashe. He was part of an armed battle with the Royal Irish Constabulary at Ashbourne in County Meath during the 1916 Rising. He was arrested following the Rising and was interned at Knutsford and at Frongoch until December 1916 and he then rejoined the Volunteers.

Liam Raftis
Raftis was employed by the Great Southern and Western Railway. He was with the Boland’s Mill Garrison during the 1916 Rising. Boland’s Mill was positioned to control the railway line and road from Dun Laoghaire. Railway lines were pulled up by the Volunteers stationed at Boland’s Mill to prevent troop trains reaching the city centre.

He was able to slip away in the confusion following the surrender and was not arrested but was suspended without pay from his job with the Great Southern and Western Railway because he was unable to account for his whereabouts during Easter Week.

Reaction in Waterford to 1916

The initial response to the Easter Rising among the wider Waterford populace was not favourable. Waterford Corporation passed no resolution in response to the Rising. Waterford Board of Guardians were the first Waterford local authority to pass a resolution in relation to the Rising and on 3rd May 1916 they passed a resolution stating:

That we the Waterford Board of Guardians desire to place on record our strong condemnation of the foolish and misguided conduct of those persons in Dublin whose insurrectionary action has brought such discredit on our country and has occasioned the loss of so much innocent life and the destruction of property, which we deeply deplore. We strongly condemn Sir Edward Carson as being the cause of the Irish bringing into Ireland arms in the North in defiance of the existing Government. We also wish to convey to Mr. John E. Redmond our full appreciation of his policy and, at the same time, to assure him of our firm support and co-operation in this disastrous crisis.

On the 6th May 1916, the Dungarvan Board of Guardians followed suit, condemning the Rising and expressing their confidence in the

“…policy of Mr. John Redmond as President of the National Volunteers and we pledge ourselves to do all in our power to uphold the peace and goodwill of our Country, and for the interest of peace we call on the Government not to inflict the death penalty in any further cases”.

The imposition of the death penalty had a significant impact on the public response to the 1916 Rising. The initial condemnations and pledges of support for the Government gave way to an increasing disquiet and discontent following the executions of the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

On 19th May 1916, it was proposed at Lismore Rural District Council by Mr. O’Brien and seconded by Mr. McGrath:

“That the sympathy of this Council be extended to the wives, relatives and friends of the men who have been executed in Dublin and elsewhere in the past few weeks by the high handed so called Authority of Military Courtsmartial in Ireland.”

A direct negative was proposed by Colonel Cotton who objected to the latter part of the resolution and while this was second by Mr. Galloway, this amendment to the resolution was defeated by 6 votes to 2.

Waterford County Council, while passing a resolution condemning the Rising on 23rd May 1916, did so, blaming the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force and the lack of support for the Irish Parliamentary Party as causes for the 1916 Rising and calling on the Government to re-think their repressive measures.

“That we deeply deplore the recent attempt at insurrection in Dublin, which has been the cause of so much bloodshed and destruction of property, that in our opinion the responsibility is traceable first to the fact that an armed organisation founded to defy the law and create civil war was allowed by the Government to flourish in Ulster for the past four years, thus setting the very worst example to others, and secondly to the fact that for years every weapon of misrepresentation, malice and false accusation has been directed against the Irish Party by the forces of a faction backed by organs in the press such as the “Irish Independent” in order to undermine the influence of the Party, that deplorable as has been the outbreak we believe that the continuance of repressive measures and military rule in Ireland are calculated to do irreparable harm, and that the whole recent history of Ireland to this moment proves beyond question, as does all previous Irish history, that the only hope for salvation for our Country lies in removing the causes of discontent by the establishment of a broad system of self-government under which we are confident that all sections of our countrymen could work together for Ireland.”

The executions led to an increasing disquiet and the formation of an Irish National Aid Association for the families of those involved in the Rising. On 20th June 1916 Kilmacthomas Rural District resolved:

“That we sympathise with the Irish National Aid Association, and we hereby form ourselves into a Branch Committee for this district, to support the appeal for funds to aid the parties and families of the men who suffered by imprisonment and death, by being deprived of their bread-winners, as a result of the recent insurrection.”

Dr. Vincent White was elected an officer of the Waterford branch of the Irish National Aid Association and money was collected throughout Waterford City and County. Support began to grow for Sinn Féin in Waterford and a rift between pro-Sinn Féin and pro-Irish Parliamentary Party supporters began to grow and develop into two increasingly violently opposed factions.

In October 1916, John Redmond visited Waterford City and was greeted by a large crowd of supporters. There was some heckling from parts of the crowd but this was quickly stopped by members of the Ballybricken Pig Buyers’ Association, strong supporters of Redmond.

In June 1917, the brother of John Redmond, Major Willie Redmond was killed while fighting with the Royal Irish Regiment and as a sitting MP, his seat in Clare became vacant and a by-election was held. The by-election resulted in a victory for the Sinn Féin candidate Eamonn de Valera. Celebrations of his success in Kilmacthomas led to an outbreak of violence and the arrest of prominent Sinn Féin members Frank Drohan, George Kiely, Patrick Lawlor and Dan Cooney.

By the end of 1917, Sinn Féin had a number of clubs in Waterford. In November 1917, Eamonn de Valera and Arthur Griffith visited Waterford to address a meeting on The Mall. They were paraded across the bridge by Irish Volunteers but stopped by a crowd of Redmond supporters. The Royal Irish Constabulary were forced to intervene to disperse the rival factions. Extra police and troops were brought in and the Sinn Féin meeting was moved to Ballinaneeshagh. A demonstration was held by Redmond’s supporters on Ballybricken Hill that evening.

The General Election of 1918

Attempts to reach agreement on the introduction of Home Rule failed and an exhausted and weakened John Redmond died on 6th March 1918. However, his long service to Waterford City and its people was not forgotten and brought about a divided Waterford in the 1918 General Elections. Following the death of John Redmond, a by-election for Waterford City was held on 22nd March 1918. Captain William Redmond, son of John Redmond, was the Irish Parliamentary Party candidate and Dr. Vincent White was the Sinn Féin candidate. Sinn Féin held a public meeting on 11th March on the Mall and the opposing Redmond supporters turned out in force to interrupt the speeches with shouting, singing and stone throwing. The police had to intervene.

The Irish Parliament Party held a monster meeting in Ballybricken just prior to the arrival of Captain Redmond on 14th March to huge support. He was paraded through the City to Ballybricken where the Mayor declared that Ballybricken would support his candidacy. According to the Freeman’s Journal of 15th March 1918 the procession of supporters was nearly two miles long. During the campaign extra police and troops had to be stationed in Waterford to deal with the outbreaks of violence between the opposing factions. De Valera was attacked while campaigning for Dr. White. On polling day on 22nd March Irish Volunteers and Redmond supporters were stationed at the polling stations. Dr. Vincent White, the Sinn Féin candidate, was struck on the head by a Redmond supporter and when he later went to vote himself the Royal Irish Constabulary had to clear a path through the mob to enable him to get through and vote.

The Irish Volunteers paraded to Volunteer Hall and were met with a large group of Redmond supporters and only with the intervention of de Valera and an assurance that the Volunteers would leave Waterford the following morning was the crowd dispersed.

Captain William Redmond defeated Dr. Vincent White in the by-election but the campaigns began anew shortly afterwards when the General Election was called. The government decided to introduce conscription into Ireland which was hugely unpopular. The Irish Parliamentary Party which had for so often called for men to join up were opposed to the Bill and on 17th April 1918 a cross party nationalist party meeting at the Mansion House condemned the Bill. The threat of conscription boosted support for Sinn Féin.

Waterford in 1918 was divided into 2 constituencies – Waterford County and Waterford City – having previously been 3 constituencies. Universal suffrage had been introduced in 1918, which meant the franchise was extended and for the first time women over 30 could vote. Rosamund Jacob and the Cumann na mBan members in Waterford urged women to vote for Sinn Féin. Polling was set for 14th December 1918.

In Dungarvan, P.C. O’Mahony, who lost his job in the Post Office due to his republican activities, became an organiser for Sinn Féin. Cathal Brugha was the Sinn Féin candidate and the sitting MP J.J. O’Shee was the Irish Parliamentary Party candidate. Sinn Féin and Cathal Brugha had widespread support in Waterford County and Cathal Brugha was successfully elected for Waterford County.

In the City a replay of the 1917 by-election was held with Dr. Vincent White the Sinn Féin candidate against the Irish Parliamentary Party candidate Captain William Redmond. Again, there were violent clashes between the Irish volunteers and Redmond’s supporters. Polling stations were scenes of violence on the day and the Volunteer Hall was attacked by Redmond’s supporters. Although Dr. White greatly increased the Sinn Féin vote on this occasion he was still beaten by Captain Redmond, whose supporters conveyed him from the Courthouse to Ballybricken where they burned an effigy of Dr. White.

The newly elected Sinn Féin MPs met in the Mansion House as Dáil Éireann on 21st January 1919. Captain Redmond was invited but did not attend. The other Waterford MP Cathal Brugha was elected President of the Dáil in the absence of the leader of Sinn Féin, Eamon de Valera who was in prison at the time.

At this first meeting of Dáil Éireann, the Nation of Ireland proclaimed her Independence:

“To the Nations of the World! Greetings!” The Nation of Ireland having proclaimed her national independence, calls through her elected representatives in Parliament assembled in the Irish Capital on January 21st, 1919, upon every free nation to support the Irish Republic by recognising Ireland’s national status and her right to its vindication at the Peace Congress.Nationally, the race, the language the customs and traditions of Ireland are radically distinct from the English, Ireland is one of the most ancient nations in Europe, and she has preserved her national integrity, vigorous and intact, through seven centuries of foreign oppression: she has never relinquished her national rights, and throughout the long era of English usurpation she has in every generation defiantly proclaimed her inalienable right of nationhood down to her last glorious resort to arms in 1916.

Internationally, Ireland is the gateway of the Atlantic. Ireland is the last outpost of Europe towards the West: Ireland is the point upon which great trade routes between East and West converge: her independence is demanded by the Freedom of the Seas: her great harbours must be open to all nations, instead of being the monopoly of England. To-day these harbours are empty and idle solely because English policy is determined to retain Ireland as a barren bulwark for English aggrandisement, and the unique geographical position of this island, far from being a benefit and safeguard to Europe and America, is subjected to the purposes of England’s policy of world domination.

Ireland today reasserts her historic nationhood the more confidently before the new world emerging from the War. because she believes in freedom and justice as the fundamental principles of international law, because she believes in a frank co-operation between the peoples for equal rights against the vested privileges of ancient tyrannies, because the permanent peace of Europe can never be secured by perpetuating military dominion for the profit of empire but only by establishing the control of government in every land upon the basis of the free will of a free people, and the existing state of war, between Ireland and England, can never be ended until Ireland is definitely evacuated by the armed forces of England.

For these among other reasons, Ireland—resolutely and irrevocably determined at the dawn of the promised era of self-determination and liberty that she will suffer foreign dominion no longer—calls upon every free nation to uphold her national claim to complete independence as an Irish Republic against the arrogant pretensions of England founded in fraud and sustained only by an overwhelming military occupation, and demands to be confronted publicly with England at the Congress of the Nations, in order that the civilised world having judged between English wrong and Irish right may guarantee to Ireland its permanent support for the maintenance of her national independence.