Óglaigh na hÉireann (The Irish Volunteers) have been established with the object of training the people of Ireland in one of the most important duties of citizenship; the use of arms. The movement is not aggressive, but defensive; it is directed, not towards the coercing of any section of Irishmen, but towards uniting Irishmen of all sections in brotherly co-operation in the cause of Irish Nationality. In the spirit of the movement of 1779-82, it seeks to bring Irish people of every class, of every religion, and of every shade of political belief, into a national movement for the defence against outside aggression, of the common rights and liberties of all Irishmen and Irishwomen.
The Volunteers are being organised on a basis purely territorial, no other lines of demarcation being recognised. The Provisional Committee is representative of every section of national opinion, and the movement, while drawing recruits from all sections and seeking the co-operation of all, will be identified with none.
Forty Volunteer companies have already been enrolled in Dublin, and the movement is rapidly extending throughout the provinces.
It is calculated that the small weekly contributions of the members will suffice to cover all secretarial and organising expenses, as well as to provide instruction, drill halls, parade grounds, and rifle ranges.
For aid in the other and more onerous part of our programme – the equipment of the force – appeal must be made to the public spirit of the Irish people at large.
The Provisional Committee appeals, therefore, to all Irish people, at home and in exile, to contribute to an IRISH VOLUNTEER FUND.
Every Irishman and Irishwoman is asked to make a contribution to this Fund. Those who can afford to do so, are asked to give largely; those who cannot give much are asked to give as much as they can. Societies and clubs whose rules so permit are invited to open collections in aid.
It is an occasion on which every individual and every group in the nation ought to come forward and help.
Subscriptions will be received by any of the undersigned, who will acknowledge them through the post.
Signed on behalf of the Provisional Committee.
John Gore, Cavendish Row, Dublin,
Ua Rathghaille, 40 Herbert Pk., Dublin,