The Proclamation of the Irish Republic

Author(s): Irish Citizen Army, Thomas J. Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly, and Joseph Plunkett. Thomas J. Clarke was most responsible for the rising and the writing of the document. All seven signatories of the proclamation were later executed by the British military for treason in wartime (World War I).
Context: 1916, World War I. Members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood organized an insurrection in the spring of 1916, while Britain was involved in the war in Europe. Ireland was still controlled by Britain, and was far outmatched by the British military. The resulting conflict lasted just six days, before the leaders of the insurrection agreed to an unconditional surrender.
Language: The language of this proclamation is defiant and confident. It is not difficult to read, and is fairly straightforward.
Audience: The Irish people as well as the British government and royalty.
Intent: To declare independence from England and to emphasize the will of the Irish people to continue to seek sovereignty and independence. “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of the 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.”
Message: The authors and signatories of this proclamation aimed to inform the British government and the Crown that Ireland would be independent and sovereign, and they would continue to seek independence until it was achieved. The only way to stop the Irish people from seeking independence was to stop the Irish people from existing altogether. This proclamation is also a call to arms for the Irish people; it claims the allegiance of every Irishman and woman, and calls the children of Ireland “to sacrifice themselves for the common good.”

2 thoughts on “The Proclamation of the Irish Republic

  1. While the insurrection only lasted six days, the leaders knew in advance that signing the proclamation was a death sentence. This alone demonstrates how seriously the signatories believed in their cause to break free from Britain. Such ideology eventually lead to the limited independence of Ireland and can be seen in modern times through organizations like the IRA.

  2. They knew going into it that it meant death for a great many people but they were wiling to sacrifice the lives needed to gain the independence they wanted. And to go against such a large imperialist country like Britain meant having the full support of the people. The rise of an entires population would would spark enough attention and hopefully would spark the forming of a new nation.

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