Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Address of Irish Commandants to the President and Congress of the United States (Author: Irish Commandants (whose signatures are appended))
Dublin, Ireland June 18, 1917


We, the undersigned, who have been held in English prisons and have been dragged from dungeon to dungeon, in heavy chains, cut off, since Easter Week, 1916, from all intercourse with the outside world, have just had an opportunity of seeing the printed text of the message of the United States of America to the Provisional Government of Russia.

We see that the President accepts as the aim of both countries ‘the carrying of the present struggle for the freedom of all peoples to a successful consummation’. We, also, see that the object of President Wilson's own government is ‘the liberation of peoples everywhere from the aggressions of autocratic force’. ‘We are fighting,’ writes the President to the Government of Russia, ‘for the liberty, self-government, and undictated development of all peoples, and every feature of the settlement that concludes this war must be conceived and executed for that purpose. Wrongs must first be righted, and then adequate safeguards must be created to prevent their being committed again. Remedies must be found as well as statements of principle that will have a pleasing and sonorous sound . . . No people must be forced under a sovereignty under which it does not wish to live.’

We trust that such remedies—in preference to any governmental professions whatsoever—will be held to include the right of each people, not merely to rely on other peoples to support their claim to national liberty, but what the Governments and peoples of other nations will, we trust, regard as even more sacred, the right of each people to defend itself against external aggression, external interference and external control. It is this particular right that we claim for the Irish people, and not content with statements of principle, though these themselves may be made a pretext for our oppression, we are engaged and mean to engage ourselves in practical means for establishing this right.

Without awaiting the issue of the war or the settlement that may conclude the war, we ask of the Government of the United States of America, and the Governments of the free peoples of the world, to take immediate measures to inform themselves accurately and on the


spot about the extent of liberty or attempted repression which we may encounter.

We, the undersigned, are officers (just released from English prisons) of forces formed independently in Ireland to secure the complete liberation of the Irish Nation.

Eamon de Valera.
Eóin Mac Neill.
Donnchadh Ua Ceallacháin.
Seamus Ua Laoidhleis.
Riobard Ó Breandain.
M. D. De Lasaigh.
Fionán Ua Loingsigh.
Proinnsias Ó Fathaigh.
Tomás Ua Fiadhachra.
Seán R. Etchingham.
Risteard Mac Conriogh.
Seán Mac an tSaoi.
Risteard Ó hAodha.
Seumas Doyle.
Peadar Galligan.
Tomás Aghas.
Diarmuid Ua Loingsigh.
Risteard Ó Colmáin.
Seóirse Ó h-Eireamhóin.
Conchubhar Ó Coileáin.
Aoibhistin de Staic.
Seán Mac Gadhra.
T. Deasmhumhan Mac Gearailt.
Proinnsías Ó Droighneáin.
Frainc Ó Laoidhleis.
Seamus S. Breathnach.