From Irish Freedom, November 1910.
To those of us who are growing up boys and girls will probably fall the task of finally settling the ‘Irish question.’ Now is the time, therefore, for us to consider the course we are to follow and the methods to be adopted to ensure success. As we are not skilled enough in the use of platitudes, we interpret Irish freedom literally, and as we are not old enough to hide our cowardice behind a mask of so-called wisdom, we realise that Irish freedom must be won by the one method by which it is won in every other part of the world—the sword and its allies.
The history of the world proves that there is but one road to freedom, and that is the red road of war. The editorial, the article, or the speech, however eloquent, which does not point out that road is so much cant which only further enslaves an enslaved people from the fact that it urges them on the false path which leads to confusion and demoralisation. The freedom which can be attained by oratory, logic, or votes, is not freedom, but a more secure form of slavery, for there is some danger of it being constructed on a plausible basis. The freedom which is not worth fighting for and dying for is not worth having. Such ‘freedom’ the Irish people possessed in the days of Wolfe Tone, but the brand for which we strive is the brand for which Tone’s throat was mangled by the British Government, in the hope of making it repulsive and its exponent an anathema to a deeply religious people such as the Irish.
In these days of practical patriotism we, of the Fianna, without any exaggeration, can justly claim to be the most practical element in the population, though we are but a small factor of it. We turn our eyes from the loaf, which in one form or another, we see on all sides held up as a standard of nationalism, and have firmly fixed our gaze and concentrated our attention on the dreary cell where Tone was basely murdered; the gibbet which the blood of Emmet consecrated, and on the chains which the bleeding limbs of Mitchel and the Fenians turned into garlands. Not only that, but we have set ourselves to the task of preparing both mentally and physically for the great day, on the eve of which those of us who have survived will see, with gladsome eyes, Cathleen Ní Houlihan launch Fair Freedom’s ship with the Republican colours at the mast in the blood of the Saxon.