January 15, 1939. Drafted by Joseph McGarrity on behalf of the Irish Republican Army. Officially marked the beginning of the S-Plan bombing campaign conducted against the civil, economic and military infrastructure of the United Kingdom from January 1939 to March 1940 by the IRA.
On the twenty-third day of April in the year 1916 in the city of Dublin, seven men, who were representative in spirit and outlook and purpose of the Irish nation that had never yielded to nor accepted the British conquest, set their humble and almost unknown names to the foregoing document that has passed into history, making the names of the seven signatories immortal.
Those signatures were sealed with the blood of the immortal seven, and of many others who followed them into one of the most gallant fights in the history of the world, and the Irish nation rose from shame to honour, from humiliation to pride, from slavery to freedom.
Three years later (on January 21st 1919), the Republic proclaimed in Easter Week 1916 was ratified and formally established by the elected representatives of all Ireland and a solemn declaration of independence sent out to the nations of the world.
To combat that declaration and to prevent the proclamation of the Republic of Ireland from becoming effective, the armed forces of the English enemy made war upon the people of this country. They were met by the Irish Republican Army, and challenged and resisted so stubbornly that after two years of bloody warfare the English were forced to ask for a truce with a view to settlement by negotiation.
Unfortunately, because men were foolish enough to treat with an armed enemy within their gates, the English won the peace. Weakness and treachery caused a resumption of the war and the old English tactics of “divide and conquer” were exploited to the fullest extent. Partition was introduced, the country divided into two parts with two separate parliaments subject to and controlled by the British Government from London. The armed forces of England still occupy six of our counties in the North and reserve the right “in the time of war or strained relations” to re-occupy the ports which they have just evacuated in the southern part of Ireland. Ireland is still tied, as she has been for centuries past, to take part in England’s wars. In the Six Counties, a large number of Republican soldiers are held prisoners by England. Further weakness on the part of some of our people, broken faith and make believe have postponed the enthronement of the living Republic, but the proclamation of Easter Week and the Declaration of Independence stand and must stand forever. No man, no matter how far he has fallen away from his national faith, has dared to repudiate them. They constitute the rallying centre for the unbought manhood of Ireland in the fight that must be made to make them effective and to redeem the nation’s self-respect that was abandoned by a section of our people in 1922.
The time has come to make that fight. There is no need to re-declare the Republic of Ireland, now or in the future. There is no need to re-affirm the Declaration of Irish Independence. But the hour has come for the supreme effort to make both effective. So in the name of the unconquered dead and of the faithful living, we pledge ourselves to that task.
We call upon England to withdraw her armed forces, her civilian officials and institutions, and representatives of all kinds from every part of Ireland, as an essential preliminary to arrangements for peace and friendship between the two countries; and we call upon the people of all Ireland, at home and in exile, to assist us in the effort we are about to make in God’s name, to compel that evacuation and to enthrone the republic of Ireland.
Signed on behalf of the Republican Government and the Army Council of Oglaigh na h-Éireann (Irish Republican Army),