From The United Irishman, 25 March, 1848. First drafted at a meeting of the inhabitants of Dublin at the North Wall, Dublin, on Monday, 20th March, 1848 and read out by John Mitchel.


As slaves should address freemen—as a land which has yet its independence to assert, and its social freedom to attain, should address a sovereign state and a republic, we address you, citizens!

Had we a national government, a recognised centre willing and competent to act and speak for us, it would have long since boldly declared the admiration of your heroism, the sympathy with your cause, the delight in your victory which we feel, but are, from our condition, incapable of uttering. Foreign dominion and distraction among ourselves choke the best and noblest feeling of our hearts, and turn into empty wind the voice of millions.

Receive from us, citizens, all the congratulations we can offer; and be assured that beneath them there is much that cannot be uttered—behind them, the longings and passions of suffering and enslaved men. You who have only but yesterday broken through even a mild despotism, and yet who were compelled to hide in your hearts for eighteen years the hate of that despotism which now you have so nobly vindicated—you, citizens, you can understand us.

We recognise in the French Republic the work of working men. We see in its every act justice to the rights of labour; and in its victories, its glories, its success, and enduring justice, we, working men, participate.

But, enslaved as we are, we can only offer you our individual sympathy and friendship; and we ask, in return, that you will look upon the sufferings of the oldest and most persecuted sister of our common Celtic race with commiseration and sorrow. We ask you not to blush for our shame and our slavery, but to retain for us reciprocal friendship and sympathy till our liberated country can deserve it.