Appeal to Republican Dissidents

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C., May 26, 1998 — Father Sean McManus, President of the Irish National Caucus has issued an appeal to Republican dissidents to end their military campaign and accept the results of the North/South Referendum on the Good Friday Agreement.

“I appeal to all the Republican dissident groups to please call off your military campaign and to accept the results of the North/South Referendum on the Good Friday Agreement.

The people of Ireland — North, South, East, and West — have spoken. They have freely and overwhelmingly expressed their democratic will. It is now utterly impossible and invalid for any Irish Nationalist — North or South — to claim that nationalist Ireland has not expressed its will.

Continuation of an armed campaign can cause no good, only harm. I appeal to older leaders not to send out young men and women to kill and be killed. I say to the young men and women: Please do not wait for thirty years to realize that violence is not going to advance the cause of a united Ireland. In thirty years time — if you pursue violence — you will realize it was a mistake, but then it will be too late. You will not be able to bring back to life those you killed or restore the harm you’ve done to your own family or the families of others.

I also beg the young men and women to consider this: you may think you are embarking on a campaign just between yourselves and the British army. In reality you will be involved in an ugly sectarian feud in which far more innocent Protestants and Catholics will be killed than British soldiers (not that killing British soldiers would be justified).

Violence cannot advance justice in Ireland today. How could one more dead body or ruined life change the political landscape?

Finally, I say this, not by way of threat, but so as you won’t be under any illusions: do not expect sympathy from America if you violate the will of the people of Ireland and wage war. Irish-Americans will not support you. We will not lobby for you. We will not campaign for you when you go to prison. We will not be blackmailed into supporting you in any way. We will support the will of the people of Ireland — North, South, East, and West.

Please give up your campaign and join with the rest of Ireland and Irish-Americans in working nonviolently for equality, human rights, and justice.”