The Provisional Government of the Irish Republic
To the people of Ireland.
IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN:
(Only Norway, Finland and Denmark allowed women to vote prior to 1916.)In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.
(Ireland had never been a unified nation. In the 9th century the country was ruled by various clans and High Kings. The Anglo-Norman invasion in the 12th century eventually led to English and then British rule. Ireland did have its own autonomous parliament until 1801 when the Act of Union led to direct rule from London.)
Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America
(In 2008 the US census indicated that there were 36,278,332 ‘Irish’ in the United States. Following the Great Famine of the 1840’s, there were more Irish in the United States than in Ireland itself)and by gallant allies in Europe
(support from the Kaiser in Germany), but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory
(that victory was compromised as with many Irish attempts at Rebellion by internal bickering, splits and spies).
We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. (
Ireland became part of the EEC in 1972 and the renamed EU in 1992. The Euro was introduced in 2002 and a Constitution in 2004).The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty: six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms
(This included the 1848 United Irishmen rebellion more commonly known as the Cabbage Patch Rebellion as it took place in the garden of widow Margaret McCormack in Ballingarry, County Tipperary and caused the deaths of 2 people). Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and its exaltation among the nations.
The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights (
equal rights for women but would this have also meant equal rights for the Gay and Lesbian community that would have included men like Sir Roger Casement)and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally
(the protection of children was seriously flawed as it was often left in the hands of both male and female clergy who systematically abused their positions),and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.
Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government
(there were 7 members all of whom were executed in the aftermath of the Rising), hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.
(It was obviously the aim of the rebel Government to hold elections following their victory. Voting in Ireland was patchy and uneven. The elections prior to 1916 were in January and December 1910. A total of 683,767 people were entitled in Ireland to vote. In January 1910 the two main winners in Ireland were the Irish Parliamentary Party who gained 74,047 votes equating to 71 MPs and the All For Ireland Party who garnered 23,605 votes equating to 8 seats. In December 1910, 90,416 voted for the IP Party or 74 seats and the All For Ireland party 30,332 votes and 8 seats. As a entire UK electorate the IP Party gained 1.85% of the vote but this equated to 11% of the seats in the House of Commons. This compared to the Liberal Party who won 44% of the vote equating to 40% of the seats in the Commons. Post 1916, the 1918 general election of saw the success of Sinn Fein. 1,926,274 people in Ireland were entitled to vote in this election. Sinn Fein won 476,458 votes equating to 73 MPs and the IP Party garnered 226,498 votes but only 7 seats. Less than one third of those entitled to a vote exercised their democratic franchise. Irish nationalists had won 7% of the vote when entitled them to 12% of the seats in the House of Commons.)
We place the cause of the Irish Republic
(The Irish Republic refers to a 32 county nation, while the present Republic of Ireland is a 26 county constituted nation)under the protection of the Most High God
(Ireland’s population was in 1916 90% Roman Catholic with Pope Benidict 15th on the Vatican throne who had actively thwarted plans by the Germans to give financial aid to the Rising through a Vatican bank account in Switzerland and some historians have speculated that it was Vatican representatives who tipped the British off to the arrival of Casement by U Boat off the coast of County Kerry ), whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine
(Dictionary defined as the ‘plunder of another’s property). In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.