2009-04-13: On the Monday following Easter Sunday, in 1916 … the initial phase of the Irish Revolution was signalled by reading the Proclamation of Freedom in front of the General Post Office (GPO) on Dublin City’s main street, O’Connell Street … then called Sackville Street.
Some years ago, when visiting the graves of the Revolution’s Executed Leaders in Arbour Hill Cemetery, just a short walk from where I live … I was drawn to read that same Proclamation which is inscribed, above their graves, in stone. The words are rousing … as they were meant to be at the time … but also inspiring for today.
The Proclamation begins …
” 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.”
… and, further on, continues …
” 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 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, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”
I wonder how many of our politicians, or senior civil servants … or our bankers … our business and religious leaders … have ever taken the time to read and understand those words ?
We are not yet ‘free’ !