FELLOW-CITIZENS: Although the object of our appointment by you was strictly to make the necessary preparations for the forthcoming meeting, still we will take the liberty of suggesting to you what (we think) your conduct should be, both before and after that meeting.
It appears to us (to speak familiarly) that we have the game in our own hands if we will play it with boldness and with prudence. Seeing the disposition now universally prevalent toward a union of the national party—seeing the disturbances which are breaking forth in rapid succession in England and Scotland—seeing, moreover, the almost inevitably necessity of an immediate European war—it is impossible to arrive at any other conclusion than this, that if we are not too headlong, or too timid, we shall shiver this oppressive yoke to pieces within this very year.
O brothers, think of this: the golden prize for which we have yearned, and sighed, and toiled, so long, is now within our reach, and will speedily be ours, if we do not forfeit it by our own rashness or cowardice!
There are but three conditions necessary to success; neither of them impossible, or even difficult—
We must unite. We must be prudent. We must be bold.
We will not dwell on the expediency of UNION in this emergency. The country calls loudly for it; and, in originating this united movement, the tradesmen of Dublin have sounded that call. Surely, no man will stand in the way of that union, so universally demanded, so vitally required.
While expressing our admiration of the valour of the citizens of Paris, let us not overlook the other virtues which have surrounded their Revolution with so much glory—their self-control, their love of order, their respect for property and for religion. While opposing a fearless front to the government, let us be careful not to afford them any colourable excuse for invading our constitutional rights. Let us, as we hope to leave a free and happy land to our children, avoid such disgraceful scenes of riot and plunder as have recently occurred at London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Let us, by our peaceful and orderly demeanour, prove to our own people and to strangers the falsehood of the assertion that we are unfit for self-government.
Brother Irishmen! the enemies of our nationality have now but one hope, and that is, that you will break out into street riots, and will thus afford them an opportunity to strike terror into the people of Ireland by a sanguinary example. They will possibly, by the agency of spies, and by petty provocations, endeavour to drive you into this fatal indiscretion. We rely on your good sense and intelligence to defeat and battle those old and too often successful machinations of the enemies of our country.
It will be for us, in the execution of the task you have confided to us, to take care your cause shall not be compromised by any want of discretion, nor your character sullied by any exhibition of cowardice. If you, the citizens of Dublin, will set an example to your fellow-countrymen of that love of order and self-control without which no people ever yet have gained or preserved their freedom, we, on our part, will undertake to point out, before many days shall have elapsed, a course of action which, if followed up with that spirit which the time demands, will speedily put an end to English usurpation in this country.
[Signed] JOHN B. DILLON, Chairman.
WESTMORELAND STREET, March, 1848.