No. 4 UCDA P150/96
Grand Hotel, Paris, 22 February 1919
As the accredited envoy of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, I have the honour to bring to your notice the claim of my Government, in the name of the Irish Nation for the international recognition of the independence of Ireland, and for the admission of Ireland as a constituent member of the League of Nations.
The Irish people seized the opportunity of the General Election of December 1918 to declare unmistakably its national will; only in 26 (out of the 105) constituencies of the country was England able to find enough `loyalists' to return members favourable to the Union between Ireland and Great Britain; for the remaining 79 seats the electors chose as members, men who believed in self-determination; of these, 73, who now represent an immense majority of the people went forward as Republican candidates and each of these Republican members has pledged himself to assert by every means in his power the right of Ireland to the complete independence which she demands, under a national Republican Government, free from all English interference.
On the 21st January, 1919, those of the Republican members whom England had not yet cast into her prisons, met in the Irish Capital in a National Assembly, to which, as the only Irish Parliament de jure, they had summoned all Irish members of Parliament; on the same day the National Assembly unanimously voted the Declaration of Independence appended hereto and unanimously issued the Message to the Free Nations likewise appended.
The National Assembly has also caused a detailed statement of the case of Ireland to be drawn up; that statement will demonstrate that the right of Ireland to be considered a nation admits of no denial and, moreover that that right is inferior in no respect to that of the new states constituted in Europe and recognised since the war; three members Eamon de VALERA, Mr. Arthur GRIFFITH and Count PLUNKETT, have been delegated by the National Assembly to present the Statement to the Peace Congress and to the League of Nations Commission in the name of the Irish people.
Accordingly, I have the honour, Sir, to beg you to be good enough to fix a date to receive the delegates above-named, who are anxious for the earliest possible opportunity to establish formally and definitely before the Peace Conference and the League of Nations Commission now assembled in Paris, Ireland's indisputable right to international recognition for her Independence and the propriety of her claim to enter the League of Nations as one of its constituent members.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
[Sean T O'Ceallaigh]
Delegate of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic and deputy for the College Green division Dublin.
The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.
The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
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