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The 1916 Proclamation - Have you read it?
by Seamus Cashman
At 12.45 pm on 24 April 1916, Easter Monday, on the steps of the General Post Office (the GPO) on Sackville Street, now O’Connell Street, Dublin, Patrick Pearse read the following Proclamation:
POBLACHT NA h-ÉIREANN
THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
OF THE IRISH REPUBLIC
TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND
IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: 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.
Having organized her manhood through her secret revolutionary organization, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organizations, 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 and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.
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. 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. 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 of 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 and equal opportunities of 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, 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 establish- ment 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, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.
We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, 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. 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.
[Signed on behalf of the Provisional Government by Thomas Clarke; Sean Mac Diarmada; Thomas Mac Donagh; P.H.Pearse; Eamonn Ceannt; James Connolly; Joseph Plunkett]
When Pearse finished reading The Proclamation, James Connolly shook his hand and there was some scattered cheering. The rebels handed out copies of The Proclamation among the crowd. One copy was put at the foot of Nelson’s Pillar. The poet, Stephen McKenna, who was there, later wrote that he felt sad for Pearse because the response from the crowd was chilling. No wild hurrahs, no scenes of excitement as when the French stormed the Bastille.
Some people stood awhile watching flags fly on the roof of the GPO a green flag at the Princes Street corner and a tricolor at the Henry Street corner. Most were indifferent and went on their way, unaware of the significance of what was about to begin …
Photo & Image Credits:
Proclamation Document: Awesome Stories
Proclamation with photos of signers: Sinn Fein Shop
GPO Post Office: General Michael Collins web site
Fri, Nov 24, 2017
Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*
Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.
Click for More Culture Corner.
A book to buy, to beg, or to borrow. For here we have that rare thing, a piece of literature springing from the same natural impulse which makes a bird on a branch in April time give out a sprinkle of a song.
All the customer reviews on amazon give it 5 stars. We're anxiously waiting for our copy to arrive!
Click here for 20yrs a'Growing
Note: The cover illustration is called "Launching the Curragh" by Paul Henry and the original is in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
by Tomás O'Crohán
A valuable description of a now vanished way of life, the author's sole purpose in writing this book was in his own words, 'to set down the character of the people about me so that some record of us might live after us, for the like of us will never be again.'
Click here for The Islandman.
The Queen of Gaelic story-tellers reflects on the days of her youth, and, while here were `clouds of sorrow', helping to lift them was the friendship she found in the community, which `was like a little rose in the wilderness'.
Click here for An Old Woman's Reflections.