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Proclamation Issued by IRA Leaders at the Beginning of the Civil War

Proclamation Issued by IRA Leaders at the Beginning of the Civil War

29 June 1922

This proclamation and the following proclamation came one day after the army of the Provisional Government launched an attack on the Four Courts, which had been occupied by republican forces for several months. The attack ended months of stand-off between the pro- and antitreaty sides and sustained efforts by leaders on both sides to avert war. The republican forces were outnumbered from the beginning; the Civil War ended in May 1923 with a republican cease-fire.

SEE ALSO Irish Republican Army (IRA); Politics: 1800 to 1921—Challenges to the Union; Sinn Féin Movement and Party to 1922; Struggle for Independence from 1916 to 1921

Fellow Citizens of the Irish Republic: The fateful hour has come. At the dictation of our hereditary enemy our rightful cause is being treacherously assailed by recreant Irishmen. The crash of arms and the boom of artillery reverberate in this supreme test of the nation's destiny. Gallant soldiers of the Irish Republic stand vigorously firm in its defence and worthily uphold their noblest traditions. The sacred spirits of the Illustrious Dead are with us in this great struggle. "Death before Dishonour," being an unchanging principle of our national faith as it was of theirs, still inspires us to emulate their glorious effort. We, therefore, appeal to all citizens who have withstood unflinchingly the oppression of the enemy during the past six years, to rally to the support of the Republic and recognise that the resistance now being offered is but the continuance of the struggle that was suspended with British. We especially appeal to our former comrades of the Irish Republic to return to that allegiance and thus guard the nation's honour from the infamous stigma that her sons aided her foes in retaining a hateful domination over her. Confident of victory and of maintaining Ireland's Independence this appeal is issued by the army executive on behalf of the Irish Republican Army.

(Signed:) Comdt. Gen. Liam Mellows, Comdt. Gen. Rory O'Connor, Comdt. Gen. Jos. McKelvey, Comdt. Gen. Earnán Ó Máille, Comdt. Gen. Seumas Robinson, Comdt. Gen. Sean Moylan, Comdt. Gen. Michael Kilroy, Comdt. Gen. Frank Barrett, Comdt. Gen. Thomas Derrig, Comdt. T. Barry, Col. Comdt. F. Ó Faolain, Brig. Gen. J. O'Conor, Gen. Liam Lynch, Comdt. Gen. Liam Deasey, Col. Comdt. Peadar O'Donnell, P. Ruttledge.

28th June, 1922.

Poblacht nahÉireann War News, no. 2, 29 June 1922.

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