Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Hibernian Rifles

When we think of the Easter Rising and the groups who took part in it many of the micro groups are forgotten about. The Irish Volunteers and The Irish Citizen Army tend to garner much of the attention. This is understandable for a couple of reasons.

1) All the signatories of the Irish Proclamation came from both these organizations.

2) The version of our nation’s history espoused by the Free State has left many people and many things that happened written out of our nation’s history.

As republicans it will always be our duty to pass the message and the lessons of the past onto the generations to follow. Groupings such as Clann Maeve, Clan na nGael girl scouts or, and in this instance The Hibernian Rifles have had little or no mention in the years that have passed Easter Week. However at the very successful “Who fears To Speak Of Easter Week” seminar given by the Republican Movement on April 21st last year the name of this group and their involvement in the Rising was alluded to.  Hence the following piece seeks to cast a little more light on a group who has hid in the shadows of history somewhat in the years that have since passed.

Originating from a split in the Ancient Order Of Hibernians (A.O.H.) around 1907, The Hibernian Rifles ultimately became the military wing of the Irish American Alliance (I.A.A.). By December 16th 1914 the groups ideology was illustrated through its Commandant JJ Scollan when he gave a lecture entitled “Treason in Ireland” to members of the Michael Dwyer Sinn Fein cumann. He said the following "Many more of us through God's grace shall live to see the Union Jack of England down in the dust and our own immortal green interwoven with the yellow and white of the Irish Republic waving proudly and victoriously over the land."

Both the ICA and the Irsh Volunteers denied them affiliation to either organization as a unit however. The Irish Volunteers were suspicious of them, with the exception of Thomas MacDonagh. It was more than likely through this connection that they participated in the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa.  They paraded 150 men strong with 50 rifles to hand. They also allowed their HQ on North Frederick Street to be used as a stopover for Irishmen fleeing to England to avoid conscription. Also in this same year British intelligence estimated membership to be approx. 140 men with 25 rifles. By 1915 they began to release a weekly newspaper “the Hibernian”, and in it was serialized 'Ireland's Roll of Honor' - a list of those killed or wounded at Harrel's 'Battle of Clontarf' and Bachelor's Walk, imprisoned, deported or served with exclusion orders under the Defense of the Realm Act.

By Easter 1916 the lack of trust between The Hibernian Rifles and the Irish Volunteers meant that they did not hear of the planned rising, this information would be learned by them through one James Connolly. On Easter Sunday they held a Sunday parade outside their HQ on North Frederick Street and carried out their routine training. They had received no mobilization orders from either Connolly or the I.R.B. military council. After learning of McNeills countermanding order for the Irish Volunteers JJ Scollan ordered the Dublin units of the Hibernian rifles to parade again at midday the following day. That evening Patrick Pearse, his brother William and Thomas Mac Donough met in Number 28 North Frederick Street and sent courier’s with new mobilisation orders to Volunteer companies, however the Hibernian Rifles had still not been informed of the planned Rising.

By Easter Monday JJ Scollan and about sixty members of the Hibernian Rifles again paraded at the hall on North Frederick Street. It was then that Scollan learned about the volunteers seizing the G.P.O. upon this news he remarked “I addressed them and told them that as far as I knew this fight which was just starting was unofficial, but as it had started we should join in and take our place in it.  At the same time I said that if any man did not wish to volunteer for the fight he was at liberty to go home”. By midday Connolly sent word to the Hibernian Rifles to proceed to the G.P.O. The Hibernian Rifles were put under the temporary command of The O’Rahilly who ordered the group to break and barricade all the windows on the upper floors. On Tuesday morning a contingent of Nine Volunteers from Maynooth, arrived at the G.P.O..
JJ Scollan and eighteen riflemen accompanied them downstairs to the armourer’s department where they were issued with home-made tin can grenades by Jim O’Neill a member of the Irish Citizen Army. Connolly addressed the mixed party and instructed them to go towards the Haypenny Bridge. They then occupied the roof of the Exchange Hotel in Parliament Street and barricaded houses immediately around it. The area around City Hall was under British control and the Hibernian Rifles and Volunteers engaged superior numbers of British forces in rooftop sniping. That afternoon groups of the Irish Fusiliers and Enniskilling Fusiliers advanced and prepared to storm the Exchange Hotel.  The attack was repelled with rifle and shotgun fire. From the roof JJ Scollan estimated they had inflicted over twenty serious casualties on the British military forces. During the attack Edward Walsh a member of the Hibernian Rifles sniping from the roofs was shot through the stomach.  The remaining members of the Hibernian Rifles retired back to the G.P.O. and ultimately surrendered on Parnell Street on the 29th of April. Many of the Hibernian Rifles that were arrested were interned in Frongoch internment camp in Wales, among them was Scollan.

In conclusion although they were small in number the Hibernian Rifles should not be forgotten in any celebration of the Rising. The events of Easter 1916 may not have been within their planning but once things begun they willfully joined in. They were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of their country, for this they must never be forgotten.

1913 Lockout

Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary baton-charge crowds on Dublin's O'Connell Street - ‘Bloody Sunday', 31 August 1913.                    
Poverty in Dublin was dire in 1913
One of the major factors which contributed to the ignition of the dispute was the dire circumstances in which the city's poor lived. In 1913, one third of Dublin's population lived in slums. 30,000 families lived in 15,000 tenements. An estimated four million pledges were taken in pawnbrokers every year. The infant mortality rate amongst the poor was 142 per 1,000 births, which was very high for a European nation. The situation was made considerably worse by the high rate of disease in the slums, which was the result of a lack of health care and cramped living conditions, among other things. The most prevalent disease in the Dublin slums at this time was tuberculosis (TB), which spread through tenements very quickly and caused many deaths amongst the poor. A report published in 1912 claimed that TB-related deaths in Ireland were fifty percent higher than in England or Scotland, and that the vast majority of TB-related deaths in Ireland occurred amongst the poorer classes.

Poverty was perpetuated in Dublin by the lack of occupational opportunities for unskilled workers. Prior to the advent of trade unionism in Ireland, unskilled workers lacked any form of representation. Furthermore, there were many more unskilled labourers in Dublin than there were jobs for them. Thus unskilled workers often had to compete with one another for work on a daily basis, the job generally going to whoever agreed to work for the lowest wages.

James Larkin and the formation of the ITGWU

James Larkin, the main protagonist on the side of the workers in the dispute, had a history within the trade union movement. His first experience with trade unionism in Ireland had been in 1907 when he was sent to Belfast as local leader of the British-based National Union of Dock
James Larkin addresses the People.
Labourers (NUDL) after working as a docker in Liverpool. While in Belfast, Larkin organized a strike of dock and transport workers. It was also in Belfast that Larkin developed his tactic of the sympathetic strike, whereby workers who were not directly involved in an industrial dispute with employers would go on strike in support of other workers who were. The Belfast strike was moderately successful and boosted Larkin's standing amongst Irish workers. However, his tactics were highly controversial and as a result Larkin was transferred to Dublin. Unskilled workers in Dublin were very much at the mercy of their employers. Employers who suspected workers of trying to organize could "blacklist" them, practically destroying any chance of future employment. Nevertheless, Larkin set about trying to organize the unskilled workers of Dublin. This was a cause of concern for the NUDL, who were reluctant to engage in a full-scale industrial dispute with Dublin employers. As a result Larkin was suspended from the NUDL in 1908. Larkin then decided to leave the NUDL and set up his own union, the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU).

The ITGWU was the first Irish trade union to cater for both skilled and unskilled workers. In the first few months after its establishment it quickly gained popularity, and soon it had spread to other Irish cities. The ITGWU was used as a vehicle for Larkin's syndicalist views. Larkin believed in the bringing about of a socialist revolution by way of the establishment of trade unions and the calling of general strikes. After initially losing several strikes between 1908 and 1910, the ITGWU became more successful after 1911, winning several strikes involving carters and railway workers. Between 1911 and 1913, membership of the ITGWU rose from 4,000 to 10,000. This trend did not go unnoticed by employers, who soon became alarmed by the rise in popularity of the new trade union.

Larkin had also learned much from the progress and results of the Tonypandy Riots and the 1911 Liverpool general transport strike.

James Connolly 

Another important figure in the rise of an organized workers' movement in Ireland at this time
was James Connolly, Edinburgh-born of Irish descent. Connolly, like Larkin, was a talented orator and became known for his speeches on the streets of Dublin, in which he made a case not only for socialism, but also for Irish nationalism. In 1896, Connolly established the Irish Socialist Republican Party, along with the newspaper The Workers' Republic. In 1910 Connolly became involved with the ITGWU, and was appointed as its Belfast organizer in 1911. In 1912 Connolly and Larkin formed the Irish Labour Party, which was intended to represent the workers in the imminent Home Rule Bill debate in Parliament (which, due to the start of World War I was suspended for one year and then indefinitely after the rise of militant nationalism following the 1916 Rising, so it never materialized).

William Martin Murphy and the employers

Foremost among the employers opposed to trade unionism in Ireland was William Martin Murphy. Murphy was a highly successful businessman from Co. Cork. In 1913, he was chairman of the Dublin United Tramway Company and owner of Clery's department store and the Imperial Hotel. He also controlled the Irish Independent, Evening Herald and Irish Catholic newspapers and was a major shareholder in the B&I Line. Murphy was also a prominent nationalist and a former Home Rule MP in Westminster. He was known as a kind and charitable man in his private life. He was regarded as a good employer and his workers received fair wages. Conditions were poor. Employees were forced to work up to 17 hours a day and a harsh discipline regime and informer culture was pursued. Murphy was vehemently opposed to trade unions which he saw as an attempt to impede on his business, and in particular he was opposed to Larkin, whom he saw as a dangerous revolutionary. In July 1913, Murphy presided over a meeting of 300 employers, at which a collective response to the rise of trade unionism was agreed upon. Murphy and the employers were determined not to allow the ITGWU to unionize the Dublin workforce. On 15 August Murphy dismissed forty workers he suspected of ITGWU membership, followed by another 300 over the next week.

Beginning of Strike

On 26 August, workers of the Dublin tram system's Dublin United Tramways Company officially went on strike. Larkin timed the strike to take place in the middle of the Dublin Horse Show held by the Royal Dublin Society, when the inconvenience caused would be greatest and Murphy's business worst affected. At a pre-arranged time, the tram drivers and conductors literally walked off the trams, leaving them unattended. Led by Murphy, over four hundred of the city's employers retaliated by requiring their workers to sign a pledge not to be a member of the ITGWU and not to engage in sympathetic strikes.


The resulting industrial dispute was the most severe in Ireland's history. Employers in Dublin
engaged in a lockout of their workers, employing blackleg labour from Britain and elsewhere in Ireland. Dublin's workers, amongst the poorest in the United Kingdom, were forced to survive on £150,000 from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and other sources in Ireland, doled out dutifully by the ITGWU. A scheme whereby the children of Irish strikers would be temporarily looked after by British trade unionists was blocked by the Roman Catholic Church, who protested that Catholic children would be subject to Protestant or atheist influences when in Britain. The Church supported the employers during the dispute, condemning Larkin as a socialist revolutionary.

Notably, Guinness, the largest employer and biggest exporter in Dublin, refused to lock out its workforce. It had a policy against sympathetic strikes; while it refused to join Murphy's group it sent £500 to the employers' fund. In turn, it expected its workers not to strike in sympathy, and six who did were dismissed. 400 of its staff were already ITGWU members, so it had a working relationship with the union. Larkin appealed to have the six reinstated, but without success.

The strikers used mass pickets and intimidation against strike breakers and the Dublin Metropolitan Police in turn baton charged worker's rallies. The DMP's attack on a union rally on Sackville Street (now known as O'Connell Street) in August 1913 caused the deaths of two workers, James Nolan and John Byrne, and hundreds more were injured. This was provoked by the illegal appearance of James Larkin to speak out for the workers. It is still known in the Irish Labour movement as "Bloody Sunday" (despite two subsequent days in 20th century Ireland that are also described in this way). Another worker, Alice Brady, was later shot dead by a strike breaker while bringing home a food parcel from the union office while Michael Byrne, an ITGWU official from Dún Laoghaire died shortly after being tortured in a police cell. In response, Larkin, his deputy James Connolly, and ex-British Army Captain Jack White formed a worker's militia named the Irish Citizen Army to protect workers' demonstrations.

For seven months the lockout affected tens of thousands of Dublin's workers and their families, with Larkin portrayed as the villain by Murphy's three main newspapers, the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, and the Evening Herald. Other leaders in the ITGWU at the time were James Connolly and William X. O'Brien, while influential figures such as Patrick Pearse, Countess Markievicz and William Butler Yeats supported the workers in the generally anti-Larkin media.

End of the Lockout 

James Larkin Monument, O'Connell Street, Dublin City
The lockout eventually concluded in early 1914 when the calls for a sympathetic strike in Britain from Larkin and Connolly were rejected by the TUC. Most workers, many of whom were on the brink of starvation, went back to work and signed pledges not to join a union. The ITGWU was badly damaged by its defeat in the Lockout, and was further hit by the departure of Larkin to the United States in 1914 and the execution of Connolly for his part in the nationalist Easter Rising in 1916. However, the union was re-built by William O'Brien and Thomas Johnson and by 1919 its membership had surpassed that of 1913.

Although the actions of the ITGWU and the smaller UBLU were unsuccessful in achieving substantially better pay and conditions for the workers, they marked a watershed in Irish labour history. The principle of union action and workers' solidarity had been firmly established; no future employer would ever try to "break" a union in the way that Murphy attempted with the ITGWU. The lockout itself had been damaging to commercial businesses in Dublin, with many forced to declare bankruptcy.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Unbroken Continuity - 1916 Present Day


GPO after the Rising
It was around noon on Easter Monday 24 April 1916, that the 32 County Irish Republic was Proclaimed on the steps of the Dublin GPO by its provisional President Pádraig Pearse.

The Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army aided by smaller groups such as the Hibernian Rifles had joined together under the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the main driving force behind the Rising.

The Rising was suppressed.  Despite overwhelming odds the Republic had as Pádraig Pearse later said in a statement to a secret military tribunal “made for six days a stand unparalleled in military history.”

England who was then fighting a war on its Eastern flank took ruthless action.  From May 3rd, 1916 fifteen leaders were executed including the seven Signatories of the Proclamation.
Despite the Rising being unpopular amongst the People the executions were a miscalculation of immense proportions on behalf of the English and had proved a catalyst in arousing the spirit of the Irish people in adopting the Republican standard.


In 1918 the British called a General Election. The whole of Ireland was at that time still a part of
the 'United Kingdom'.  (Republican) Sinn Féin stood in that election on the basis that, if elected, they would not send their representatives to a British parliament, but would establish an independent parliament in Ireland.

A sitting of the First Dáil
Winning the support of a majority of the Irish people, the Sinn Féin TD's met in Dublin and established the First Dail.  It should be noted that the actual number of votes for Sinn Féin in the general election belied the full support enjoyed by the Republicans, since in one quarter of the constituencies Sinn Féin candidates were opposed by other parties, because of the futility of denying the massive support Sinn Féin enjoyed, and were awarded the seats without a vote.

The First Dail Eireann was "illegal".  But whose law was being quoted?  The Irish people had overwhelmingly backed Sinn Féin who had openly announced their intentions before the elections. Throughout this time the Dail operated unevenly.  It enjoyed success in the Republican courts which, in areas, were able to gain the confidence of the people and drew support away from the judicial pillar of the British State.  It was also successful in establishing a Republican police force and establishing a local government structure. Of course it was a difficult to operate this time as the two parallel States, the Republican and British, competed for support and the armies of the two States were at war.


Shelling of the Four Courts by the
Free State on orders of the English.
A Truce was called in 1921 and a period of negotiations began. These culminated on December 6, 1921 when the "Treaty" was signed by the Irish delegation in London. The Treaty set out that an "Irish Free State" would exist covering 26 counties.

The Treaty was an acceptance of the British-imposed partition of Ireland into separate States in the 1920 Government of Ireland Act and a betrayal of the all Ireland Republic endorsed by the Irish people in two general elections, in 1918 and 1921.

In Dílseact: The Story of General Tom Maguire and the Second (All-Ireland) Dail, Ruairí Ó Bradaigh wrote: "Griffith was elected President of Dail Éireann (the Government of the Irish Republic) on January 10, 1922.  Two days later in his capacity as Chairman of the Delegation to London which signed the Treaty he summoned a meeting of the 'Parliament of Southern Ireland' for January 14.  This was a partitionist body for 26 counties only, created by the British Government of Ireland Act of 1920 which was rejected by the people in May 1921 when they elected their deputies to the All-Ireland Dail.  Griffith was head of Dail Éireann and yet he called into existence a rival parliament, surely an action without precedent in history."

Likewise Mulcahy in the very last words spoken in the Dail on January 10 said: "It is suggested that I avoided saying the Army will continue to be the Army of the Irish Republic.  If any assurance is required the Army will remain the Army of the Irish Republic". (Applause) "In the name of the Republic was the Republic betrayed..."

Earlier that day Griffith had said "The Republic of Ireland remains in place until the Free State comes into being ... Whatever position the President (De Valera) occupied, if I am elected I will occupy the same until the people have the opportunity of deciding for themselves .... If I am elected I will keep the Republic in being until after the Free State is established when the people can decide for and against.... I want the Republic kept in being until the people can have a free election and give their votes ". There were express undertakings to maintain the Republic, yet these means subsequent actions totally belied their words.
Second All-Ireland Dáil Éireann,
elected in 1921 and never dissolved.

The IRA fought a civil war against the new Free State army but eventually had to end hostilities. They did this by dumping their arms, they did not surrender!  For Republicans the legitimate government of Ireland continued to be the Second (All-Ireland) Dail, the Government of the All-Ireland Republic.

The Second Dail continued to function in the shadows, largely ignored, until December 8, 1938 when it passed on its powers as the Government of the Republic of Ireland to the Army Council of the IRA.


In a statement on December 8, 1938 the surviving members of the Second Dail announced the Decision:

"Dail Eireann In consequence of armed opposition ordered and sustained by England, and the defection of elected representatives of the people over the period since the Republican Proclamation of Easter 1916 was ratified, three years later, by the newly inaugurated Government of the Irish Republic, we hereby delegate the authority reposed in us to the Army Council, in the spirit of the decision taken by Dail Eireann in the spring of 1921, and later endorsed by the Second Dail.

In thus transferring the trust of which it has been our privilege to be the custodians for twenty years, we earnestly exhort all citizens and friends of the Irish Republic at home and abroad to dissociate themselves openly and absolutely from England's unending aggression's and we urge on them to disregard England's recurring war scares, remembering that our ancient and insular nation, bounded entirely by the seas, has infinitely less reason to become involved in the conflicts now so much threatened than have the neutral small nations lying between England and the Power she desires to overthrow.

Confident, in delegating this sacred trust to the Army of the Republic that, in their every action towards its consummation, they will be inspired by the high ideals and the chivalry of our martyred comrades, we, as Executive Council of Dail Eireann, Government of the Republic, append our names.

Sean O Ceallaigh - Ceann Comhairle,
George Count Plunkett,
Professor William Stockley,
Mary Mac Swiney,
Brian O hUiginn,
Tom Maguire,
Cathal O Murchadha.”


In December, 1969, following a split in the Republican Movement over the issue of the recognition of and participation in the Partition and Westminster parliaments, Thomas Maguire, as the sole surviving member of the Executive of the Second Dail Eireann recognised the Provisional Army Council, which remained true to the Irish Republic as the lawful Army of the Thirty-two County Irish Republic.

In a statement dated December 31, 1969 Thomas Maguire said: 
An IRA convention, held in December 1969, by a majority of the delegates attending, passed a resolution removing all embargoes on political participation in parliament from the Constitution and Rules of the IRA.

The effect of the resolution is the abandonment of what is popularly termed the "Abstentionist Policy”.  The “Abstentionist Policy" means that the Republican candidates contesting parliamentary elections in Leinster House, Stormont or Westminster give pre-election pledges not to take seats in any of those parliaments.  The Republican candidates seek election to the 32-county Parliament of the Irish Republic, the Republican Dail or Dail Eireann, to give it its official title he declared objective is to elect sufficient representatives to enable the 32-County Dail Eireann to be reassembled. 

 In December 1938, the surviving faithful members of the latest 32-county Republican parliament, the Second Dail, elected in 1921, delegated their executive powers of government to the Army Council of the IRA.  This proclamation of 1938 was signed by Sean O Ceallaigh, Ceann Comhairle, George Count Plunkett, Professor William Stockley, Mary Mac Swiney, Brian O hUiginn, Cathal O Murchadha and myself Tomas Maguire.

The majority of the delegates at the December, 1969, IRA Convention, having passed the resolution referred to above, proceeded to elect an Executive which in turn appointed a new Army Council, committed to implement the resolution. 

That convention had neither the right nor the authority to pass such a resolution. 
Accordingly, I, as the sole surviving member of the Executive of Dail Eireann, and the sole surviving signatory of the 1938 Proclamation, hereby declare that the resolution is illegal and that the alleged Executive and Army Council are illegal, and have no right to claim the allegiance of either soldiers or citizens of the Irish Republic.

The delegates who opposed the resolution, together with delegates from units which were not represented at the Convention, met subsequently in Convention and repudiated the resolution. They re-affirmed their allegiance to the Republic and elected a Provisional Executive which in turn appointed a Provisional Army Council.

I hereby further declare that the Provisional Executive and the Provisional Army Council are the lawful Executive and Army Council respectively of the IRA and that the governmental authority delegated in the Proclamation of 1938 now resides in the Provisional Army Council and its lawful successors. I fully endorse their call for support for Irish people everywhere towards the realisation of the full freedom of Ireland. 

Dated the 31st of December, 1969. 
Signed: Thomas Maguire, 
Comdt. Gen. Tomas Mac Uidhir.


In 1986 there was another split in the Republican Movement and again it was over the issue of recognition of a partitionist assembly, in this case the 26-County Parliament, Leinster House.
In a statement dated October 22nd 1986 Thomas Maguire wrote: 

There is no difference between entering the partition parliament of Leinster House and entering a partition parliament of Stormont. 

I speak as the sole surviving Teachta Dala of the Second Dail Eireann and as the sole surviving member of the Executive of the Second Dail Eireann. 

In December, 1969, as the sole surviving member of the Executive of the Second Dail Eireann, I recognised the Provisional Army Council, which remained true to the Irish Republic as the lawful Army of the Thirty-two County Irish Republic. 

I do not recognise the legitimacy of any Army Council styling itself the Army Council of the Irish Republican Army which lends support to any person or organisation styling itself as Sinn Féin and prepared to enter the partition parliament of Leinster House. 

The majority of delegates to a recent IRA convention purported to accept the Leinster House partition parliament, and in so doing broke faith and betrayed the trust placed in their predecessors in 1969. 

The Irish Republic, proclaimed in arms in Easter Week 1916 and established by the democratic majority vote of the people in the General Election of 1918, has been defended by Irish Republicans for several generations.

Many have laid down their lives in that defence.  Many others have suffered imprisonment and torture.  I am confident the Cause so nobly served will yet triumph.  "If but a few are faithful found, they must be all the more steadfast for being but a few" (Terence Mac Swiney, Principles of Freedom).   

Dated the 22nd day of October, 1986. 
Signed: Thomas Maguire 
Tomas Maguidhir Comdt. General.


On the 25th of July 1987 Thomas Maguire issued another statement declaring the Continuity Army Council of the Irish Republican Army as the lawful Army and Council of the Thirty Two County Irish Republic.  It was sent from the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau to SAOIRSE:  Irish Freedom.  It was effectively Comdt. General Tom Maguires last political will and testament.

1994 - Full Military Honours by the IRA
for Comdt. General Tom Maguire.
I refer to my statement, dated 22nd of October, 1986, and I speak again, as the sole surviving Teachta Dala of the Second Dail Éireann, and the sole surviving member of the Executive of the Second Dail. 

In that statement, I referred to my recognition in December, 1969, of the Provisional Army Council of the IRA, which had remained true to the Irish Republic, as the lawful Army of the Thirty Two County Irish Republic. 

I also stated on 22nd October, 1986, that I did not recognise the legitimacy of an Army Council, styling itself the Army Council of the Irish Republican Army, which lent support to any person or organisation styling itself Sinn Féin, and prepared to enter the partition parliament of Leinster House. 

I referred, as well, to the IRA Convention, which had taken place shortly before the 22nd October, 1986.  The Executive of the IRA had, by a majority, opposed entering Leinster House.  The faithful members of that Executive, in accordance with the IRA Constitution, filled the vacancies in the Executive, and that Executive continues as the lawful Executive of the Irish Republican Army.  The Continuity Executive has appointed an Army council of the IRA.  I quote the following extract from my statement of 31st December 1969: 

'In December, 1938, the surviving faithful members of the latest 32 County Republican Parliament, the Second Dail elected in 1921, delegated their executive powers of government to the Army Council of the IRA.  This Proclamation of 1938 was signed by S.S. O Ceallaigh (Sceilg), Ceann Comhairle, Mary Mac Swiney, Count Plunkett, Cathal O Murchu, Brian O'Higgins, Professor Stockley, and myself, Tomas Maguire'.  

I hereby declare that the Continuity Executive and the Continuity Army Council are the lawful Executive and Army Council respectively of the Irish Republican Army, and that the governmental authority, delegated in the Proclamation of 1938, now resides in the Continuity Army Council, and its lawful successors.

‘Dated the 25th day of July 1987
Signed: Thomas Maguire
Tomás Maguidhir 
Comdt. General.’