LAST STATEMENT OF JAMES
To the Field General Court
Martial, held at Dublin Castle, on May
(Evidence mainly went to establish the
that the accused, James Connolly, was in command at the General Post
and was also Commandant-General of the Dublin
Division. Two of the witnesses, however, strove to bring in alleged
of wantonly risking the lives of prisoners. The Court held that these
were irrelevant and could not be placed against the prisoner.)
I do not wish to make any defence except
charges of wanton cruelty to prisoners. These trifling allegations that
been made, if they record acts that really happened, deal only with the
unavoidable incidents of a hurried uprising against long established
and nowhere show evidence of set purpose to wantonly injure unarmed
We went out to break the connection
country and the British Empire, and to
establish an Irish Republic.
We believed that the call
we then issued to the people of Ireland,
was a nobler call, in a holier cause, than any call issued to them
war having any connection with the war. We succeeded in proving that
are ready to die endeavouring to win for Ireland
those national rights which the British Government has been asking them
to win for Belgium.
As long as that remains the case, the cause of Irish freedom is safe.
Believing that the British Government has
right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have
in Ireland, the presence, in any one generation of Irishmen, of even a
respectable minority, ready to die to affirm that truth, makes that
for ever a usurpation and a crime against human progress.
I personally thank God that I have lived
the day when thousands of Irish men and boys, and hundreds of Irish
girls, were ready to affirm that truth, and to attest it with their
JAMES CONNOLLY, Commandant-General, Dublin
Division, Army of the Irish
This statement was handed by Connolly
in Dublin Castle
the eve of his execution to his daughter Nora.