IRA Easter Statement, 1955
(From Saoirse "50 Years Ago Today")
“The primary object of the Irish Republican Army is to secure the complete liberation of our country from British aggression, by arming and training the manhood of Ireland to prosecute a full-scale military campaign against the British forces of occupation.
“Under no circumstances will the leadership of the Army allow any deviation from this objective. Under no circumstances will it allow the young men, banded together to fight the traditional enemy of our country, to be drawn into any struggle or controversy which would absorb the energy needed to attain the primary objective of the Army.
“There would appear to be misconceptions in the minds of many people regarding the constitution and control of the Irish Republican Army. In view of the Army Council considers it advisable, in this statement, to emphasise the following points.
“1. The Irish Republican Army is a voluntary organisation and is not bound by oath. The Declaration which all Volunteers are required to make is a simple one, promising to promote the objects of Óglaigh na hÉireann and to obey the orders of their superior officers.
“2. The Irish Republican Army is not a secret organisation. The very fact that, all over Ireland, units of the Army are parading publicly to honour their dead on this Easter Day is sufficient refutation of this charge.
“The Constitution of the Army, which provides for a General Army Convention every year, at which the elected delegates from all the Units in Ireland come together for the purpose of deciding policy and electing the Army control for the ensuing year, is a good safeguard against any person or group using the Army for an unworthy purpose.
“3. Since the whole membership of the Irish Republican Army is composed of men who serve neither King nor Kremlin, but Ireland only, there is a very rigid check kept on subversive individuals or groups who might try to gain membership of the Army and turn the efforts of the young men pledged to fight for Ireland to some other and less worthy object.
“Further clarification of these and other points may be obtained through reading the Constitution of Óglaigh na hÉireann, which is on sale to the public.
“It now remains for theArmy Council to place before the young men of Ireland the ideal of service, and to point out to them that the issue is now clearer than ever – Ireland and Ireland’s right to freedom, against England and England’s Army of Occupation.
“In the military operations against the British garrison in Omagh some months ago, eight soldiers of the Irish Republican Army were captured and subsequently charged with ‘Treason-felony’. On the field of battle and at their trial they proved themselves worthy representatives of a Movement which has always drawn its adherents from our bravest and best . . .
“The real traitors are those who, calling themselves Irishmen, are prepared to accept office from an alien government, and who may be called upon, in the course of their service, to sit in judgement on their fellow Irishmen and sentence them to death or imprisonment for fighting for Ireland’s freedom.”
"The hour of decision is at hand for every man and woman in Ireland, and the trained, armed, disciplined and resolute soldiers of the Irish Republican Army, ready to do battle, look forward with quiet confidence to the future and hope that the young men of this generation will accomplish the task bequeathed to them by those whom we honour today, and make Ireland free at last from foreign oppression.”