Taken from the appendix of Meagher of the Sword; speeches of Thomas Francis Meagher in Ireland, published in 1916.
TO THE HONOURABLE THE COMMONS OF ENGLAND IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED: –
The petition of the undersigned Irishmen
Humbly Sheweth – That this island was once ruled by the king, lords and commons of Ireland.
That under this government the island advanced in arts, in commerce, and in character.
That such is the destiny of every country that preserves the faculty of self-government, whether the form of that government be democratic, mixed, or monarchical.
That in the year 1800 this island ceased to be governed by the king, lords, and commons of Ireland, has since been governed, nominally, by the king, lords, and commons of Great Britain and Ireland – virtually by the power, and for the benefit, of England alone.
That under this new form of government this island has lost its character, its commerce, and its food. That such is the fate of every country that does not possess the right to govern itself. That, deprived of this right, this island must ever depend upon the charity of other people – be an idler and a bankrupt – ruined in fortune, in spirit, and in health. That, deprived of this right, the island has not the power to act for itself, and will have no guarantee for its freedom.
That the country which does not possess this power is uniformly a beggar, and, if sometimes in wealth, it is always a slave.
Therefore, your petitioners pray your honourable house to restore the ancient form of government to this kingdom, and enact that it may be for the future governed by no body of men save the king, lords, and commons of Ireland.
And your petitioners will ever pray.