If you remove the English Army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle., unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts will be in vain. England will still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs”. -
James Connolly, --- from Socialism and Nationalism in Shan Van Vocht, January 1897
"Travelling - I was all my life at it. I'd still rather be travelling around. I'm always thinking of it. It was a better and a nicer time on the road - more freedom along the roads. We'd be selling tinware, saucepans, cans - country people knew us well at those times and were very nice."
Nan McDonagh --- Former Irish Traveler (Tinker)
Often while sewing for the lords and barons who lived in magnificent houses on the Lake Shore Drive, I would look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking alongside the frozen lake front. The contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people for whom I sewed was painful to me.”
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones -- writing in her biography
Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. . . . They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace. --
Patrick Henry Pearse-- excerpt from gaveside oration for O'Donovan Rossa
They won't break me because the desire for freedom, and the freedom of the Irish people, is in my heart. The day will dawn when all the people of Ireland will have the desire for freedom to show. It is then that we will see the rising of the moon.
I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile, and cunning.
James Joyce -- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
I was raised in an Irish-American home in Detroit where assimilation was the uppermost priority. The price of assimilation and respectability was amnesia. Although my great-grandparents were victims of the Great Hunger of the 1840's, even though I was named Thomas Emmet Hayden IV after the radical Irish nationalist exile Thomas Emmet, my inheritance was to be disinherited. My parents knew nothing of this past, or nothing worth passing on."
Tom Hayden, a California state senator, is the editor of Irish Hunger and of legislation incorporating the Great Hunger into the California school curriculum.
I now bid farewell to the country of my birth—of my passions—of my death; a country whose misfortunes have invoked my sympathies—whose factions I sought to quell—whose intelligence I prompted to a lofty aim—whose freedom has been my fatal dream. To that country I now offer as a pledge of the love I bore her, and of the sincerity with which I thought and spoke, and struggled for her freedom, the life of a young heart; and with that life, the hopes, the honours, the endearments of a happy, a prosperous, and honourable home. Proceed, then my lords, with that sentence which the law directs—I am prepared to hear it—I trust I am prepared to meet its execution. I shall go, I think, with a light heart before a higher tribunal—a tribunal where a Judge of infinite goodness, as well as of infinite justice, will preside, and where, my lords, many, many of the judgements of this world will be reversed."
Thomas Francis Meagher -- in speech from the dock 10/23/1848
Believing that the British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland, the presence in any one generation of Irishmen, ready to die to affirm that truth, makes that Government for ever a usurpation and a crime against human progress.
I personally thank God that I have lived to see the day when thousands of Irish men and boys, and hundreds of Irish women and girls, were ready to affirm that truth, and to attest it with their lives if need be
James Connolly - in speech to the Court Martial that sentenced him to death on May 9, 1916.
Ireland has seen her sons - aye, and her daughters too! - suffer from generation to generation, always for the same cause, meeting the same fate, and always at the hands of the same power. Still, always a fresh generation has passed on to withstand the same opposition . . . the Unionist champions chose a path which they felt would lead to the woolsack, while I went down the road I knew must lead to the dock, and the event proved we were both right".
Roger Casement, in speech from the dock - June 30, 1916
We are ready to die and shall die cheerfully and proudly, you must not grieve for all of this. We have preserved Ireland's honor and our own. Our deeds of last week are the most splendid in Ireland's history. People will say things of us now, but we shall be remembered by posterity and blesses by unborn generations. You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win it by a better deed. Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.
Padraig Pearse --- on Easter 1916
"No person knows better than you do that the domination of England is the sole and blighting curse of this country. It is the incubus that sits on our energies, stops the pulsation of the nation’s heart and leaves to Ireland not gay vitality but horrid the convulsions of a troubled dream."
Daniel O'Connell --- Letter to Bishop Doyle, 1831
"Ireland, thou friend of my country in my country's most friendless days, much injured, much enduring land, accept this poor tribute from one who esteems thy worth, and mourns thy desolation."
George Washington --- speaking of Ireland's support for America during the revolution.
You know whats going to happen here in the morning? The whole damn reb army is going to be here. They'll move through this town, occupy these hills on the other side and when our people get here Lee will have the high ground. There will be the devil to pay! The high ground! Meade will come in slowly, cautiously. New to command. They'll be on his back in Washington. Wire hot with messages 'Attack! Attack!'. So he will set up a ring around these hills. And when Lee's army is nicely entrenched behind fat rocks on the high ground, Meade will finally attack, if he can coordinate the army. Straight up the hillside, out in the open, in that gorgeous field of fire. We will charge valiantly... and be butchered valiantly! And afterwards men in tall hats and gold watch fobs will thump their chest and say what a brave charge it was. Devin, I've led a soldier's life, and I've never seen anything as brutally clear as this.
Gen. Buford --- Gettysburg battlefield July 1, 1863
Abhor the sword—stigmatize the sword? No, my lord, for, in the passes of the Tyrol, it cut to pieces the banner of the Bavarian, and, through those cragged passes, struck a path to fame for the peasant insurrectionist of Insprück!
Abhor the sword—stigmatize the sword? No, my lord, for at its blow, a giant nation started from the waters of the Atlantic, and by its redeeming magic, and in the quivering of its crimson light, the crippled colony sprang into the attitude of a proud Republic—prosperous, limitless, and invincible!
Abhor the sword—stigmatize the sword? No, my lord, for it swept the Dutch marauders out of the fine old towns of Belgium, scourged them back to their own phlegmatic swamps, and knocked their flag and scepter, their laws and bayonets, into the sluggish waters of the Scheldt.
Thomas Francis Meagher --- Sword speech Constitution Hall, Dublin, July 20, 1846
I have but a few more words to say. I am going to go to my cold and silent grave. My lamp of life is nearly extinguished. My race is run. The grave opens to receive me and I sink into its bosom. I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world. It is the charity of its silence. Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me rest in obscurity and peace; and my tomb remain uninscribed and my memory in oblivion until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then let my epitaph be written. I have done."
Robert Emmet --- Speech from the Dock, September 19, 1803