The following is a declaration by members of Roger Casement’s Irish Brigade, serving in German POW camps in 1915 during the First World War. The text was drafted by Joseph Plunkett.

We, the members of the Irish Brigade now being formed in Germany, late prisoners of war but now enrolled to fight for the freedom of our country hereby declare:

That, as we entered upon this war as members of the British army in the belief that we were fighting in the cause of Liberty and justice, and thereby advancing the cause of our Country, Ireland, to secure the rights and liberties of her people; and as we have assured ourselves and are now certain that in this belief we were misled by those we had trusted and that today, as always, the British State is the implacable enemy of our Country and of all its national rights and liberties, and, moreover, that in this war, which has been forced on the world by England and her allies the cause of national right, of justice and truth is the cause of the Germanic nations:

Now, therefore, after full deliberation and with full sense of our responsibility, we have taken the open course of severing, by our own act, all connection with the British State and army and of giving ourselves to the service of our Country to fight for Irish Independence.

If it were in the power of any Irishman to bring that result about to-morrow by honourable and brave means, he would be indeed a coward and a traitor to the traditions of his race did he not do so.

The Imperial German Government has generously undertaken to arm and equip us as soldiers of Ireland to fight in her cause alone and under the flag of our Country.

With the help of our countrymen in Ireland and throughout the world, we hope either to win the Independence of our Country or to die fighting for the glory of God and the honour of Ireland.