Manifesto of Sinn Féin as prepared for circulation for the General
Election of December, 1918
Manifesto to the Irish People
coming General Election is fraught with vital possibilities for the
our nation. Ireland is faced with the question whether this generation
that she is to march out into the full sunlight of freedom, or is to
the shadow of a base imperialism that has brought and ever will bring
train naught but evil for our race.
Féin gives Ireland the opportunity of
vindicating her honour
and pursuing with renewed confidence the path of national salvation by
to the flag of the Irish Republic.
Féin aims at securing the establishment of that Republic.
withdrawing the Irish Representation from the British Parliament and by
the right and opposing the will of the British Government or any other
Government to legislate for Ireland.
making use of any and every means available to render impotent the
power of England to hold Ireland in subjection by military
establishment of a constituent assembly comprising persons chosen by
constituencies as the supreme national authority to speak and act in
of the Irish people, and to develop Ireland's social, political and
for the welfare of the whole people of Ireland.
appealing to the Peace Conference for the establishment of Ireland as an Independent Nation. At
conference the future of the Nations of the world will be settled on
principle of government by consent of the governed. Ireland's claim to the application of
principle in her favour is not based on any accidental situation
the war. It is older than many if not all of the present belligerents.
based on our unbroken tradition of nationhood, on a unity in a national
which has never been challenged, on our possession of a distinctive
culture and social order, on the moral courage and dignity of our
people in the
face of alien aggression, on the fact that in nearly every generation,
times within the past 120 years our people have challenged in arms the
England to rule this country. On these incontrovertible facts is based
claim that our people have beyond question established the right to be
all the power of a free nation.
Féin stands less for a political party than for the Nation; it
old tradition of nationhood handed on from dead generations; it stands
Proclamation of the Provisional Government of Easter, 1916, reasserting
inalienable right of the Irish Nation to sovereign independence,
the determination of the Irish people to achieve it, and guaranteeing
the independent Nation equal rights and equal opportunities to all its
that the time has arrived when Ireland's voice for the principle of
National self-determination should be heard above every interest of
class, Sinn Féin will oppose at the Polls every individual candidate
not accept this principle.
policy of our opponents stands condemned on any test, whether of
expediency. The right of a nation to sovereign independence rests upon
immutable natural law and cannot be made the subject of a compromise.
attempt to barter away the sacred and inviolate rights of nationhood
dishonour and is bound to end in disaster. The enforced exodus of
our people, the decay of our industrial life, the ever-increasing
plunder of our country, the whittling down of the demand for the
‘Repeal of the
Union’, voiced by the first Irish Leader to plead in the Hall of the
to that of Home Rule on the Statute Book, and finally the contemplated
mutilation of our country by partition, are some of the ghastly results
policy that leads to national ruin.
who have endeavoured to harness the people of Ireland to England's
ignoring the fact that only a freely-elected Government in a free
power to decide for Ireland the question of peace and war, have
right to speak for the Irish people. The Green Flag turned red in the
the Leaders, but that shame is not to be laid at the doors of the Irish
unless they continue a policy of sending their representatives to an
hostile assembly, whose powerful influence has been sufficient to
integrity and sap the independence of their representatives. Ireland must repudiate the men who,
in a supreme
crisis for the nation, attempted to sell her birthright for the vague
of English Ministers, and who showed their incompetence by failing to
these promises fulfilled.
present Irish members of the English Parliament constitute an obstacle
to be removed
from the path that leads to the Peace Conference. By declaring their
accept the status of a province instead of boldly taking their stand
right of the nation they supply England with the only subterfuge at
for obscuring the issue in the eyes of the world. By their persistent
endeavours to induce the young manhood of Ireland to don the uniform of
seven-century old oppressor, and place their lives at the disposal of
military machine that holds our Nation in bondage, they endeavour to
away and even to use against itself the one great asset still left to
Nation after the havoc of centuries.
Féin goes to the polls handicapped by all the arts and contrivances
powerful and unscrupulous enemy can use against us. Conscious of the
Sinn Féin to secure the freedom of Ireland the British Government would
Sinn Féin, however, goes to the polls confident that the people of this
nation will be true to the old cause and will vote for the men who
stand by the
principles of Tone, Emmet, Mitchel, Pearse and Connolly, the men who
whine to the enemy for favours, the men who hold that Ireland must be
as England or Holland, or Switzerland or France, and whose demand is
only status befitting this ancient realm is the status of a free nation.
Issued by the standing
committee of Sinn Féin.