Empire Avenue

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Revisiting O'Donovan Rossa's Grave after the Cloyne Report

Splendid and holy causes are served by men who are themselves splendid and holy.

O'Donovan Rossa was splendid in the proud manhood of him--splendid in the heroic grace of him, splendid in the Gaelic strength and clarity and truth of him.

And all that splendour, and pride, and strength was compatible with a humility and a simplicity of devotion to Ireland, to all that was olden and beautiful and Gaelic in Ireland; the holiness and simplicity of patriotism of a Michael O'Clery or of an Eoghan O'Growney.

The clear true eyes of this man almost alone in his day visioned Ireland as we to-day would surely have her--not free merely but Gaelic as well; not Gaelic merely, but free as well.

We pledge to Ireland our love, and we pledge to Rome rule in Ireland our hate

I hold it a Christian thing, as O'Donovan Rossa held it, to hate evil, to hate untruth, to hate oppression, and hating them, to strive to overthrow them.

Our foes are strong, and wise, and wary; but strong and wise and wary as they are, they cannot undo the miracles of God, Who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown by the young men of a former generation.

Rulers and Defenders of Realms had need to be wary it they would guard against such processes.

Life springs from death, and from the graves of patriot men and women spring live nations.

The defenders of this church have worked well in secret and in the open.

They think that they have pacified Ireland.

They think that they have purchased half of us, and intimidated the other half.

They think that they have foreseen everything.

They think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! they have left us our broken and our

dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace