Irish Volunteer Manifesto



The Manifesto, shown as our Document of the Month for November 2013, was read aloud by Laurence J. Kettle, member of the Provisional Committee, to the crowds gathered at the Inaugural public meeting of the Irish Volunteers in the Rotunda complex Dublin, on 25th November 1913. The Manifesto was written by the Provisional Committee of the Irish Volunteers, who constructed the text between 11th November[2] and the night it was premiered at the Rotunda complex. In December 1913, the Manifesto was published for circulation and formed part of a one-off special issue The Volunteer Gazette (December 1913), which also contained an executive summary of the Manifesto and the Provisional Constitution of the Irish Volunteers. The Manifesto was read aloud by Professor Eoin MacNeill at a Public meeting of the Irish Volunteers in Cork, 14th December. The Manifesto was reissued June 1914 and reprinted for further circulation. 

The Manifesto (as shown), was a personal copy held by Captain George Walsh, alongside other personal papers. Captain Walsh was present at the first meeting of the Irish Volunteers at the Rotunda complex, 25th November 1913. He held the rank of Lieutenant in 1913 and was later promoted to Captain. As a member of the ‘‘Banba’’ rifle club (Harold’s Cross, Dublin) and business owner, he brought his musketry skills to his role as musketry instructor and financial skills to the role of financial secretary within his company. Captain Walsh also played a vital role in organising and establishing an Irish Volunteer company within the Kimmage area in Dublin, alongside Eamon Ceannt, The O’Rahilly and Joseph Plunkett.   His personal copy of the Manifesto (as shown) is part of Captain Walsh’s personal papers[3] which are held in Military Archives. These papers reveal aspects of Captain Walsh’s military, social and business life from 1913 to 1945. Download the document here.


Text prepared by Lisa Dolan, Archivist and Cpl Andrew Lawlor, Archives Assistant

[1]PRCN/0028/01/01 Manifesto of the Irish Volunteers (2 copies) autographed by George Walsh, December 1913.  Files also contains copy of reissued Manifesto (June 1914).
[2] Date the Provisional Committee were formed.
[3]PRCN/0028 George Walsh Papers (available by appointment, Military Archives)