CELT document E900016

President de Valéra's address to the Electorate

Éamonn de Valera

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President de Valéra's address to the Electorate

Dáil Eireann, the elected Government of Ireland, has given its sanction to the Parliamentary elections now pending in order that you may have an opportunity of proving once more your loyalty to the principle of Irish Independence.

By your overwhelming choice of Republican candidates in the general election of 1918 you made known your will in a manner there was no mistaking. On your suffrages the Republic of Ireland was constitutionally founded, with your sanction the elected government proceeded to function, organising the forces of the state to defend it and demanding from all its citizens the obedience due to legitimately constituted authority. The necessity of having to wage a war of defence against the forces of the foreigner complicated the task, but did not impair the right or authority of the Republican Government. Sinn Féin, in this election, appeals to the electors to confirm this authority and to strengthen the hands of the government against the enemy from without, who would deprive this nation of the right to rule itself, and against the traitorous or pusillanimous within who would take advantage of the presence here of a foreign army of occupation to surrender the rights for which this nation has suffered so much, or to deny or evade an obedience which in conscience it is their duty to render.

The policy of Sinn Féin remains unchanged. It stands for the right of the people of this nation to determine freely for themselves how they shall be governed, and for the right of every citizen to an equal voice in the determination; it stands for civil and religious equality and for the full proportional representation and all possible safeguarding of minorities. In world politics it stands for an association of nations based upon self-determination and equality of right amongst the constituent members, favouring mutual guarantees against aggression, and the settlement of international disputes on the basis of right and justice instead of force. It stands for Ireland undivided and a unit with regard to other nations and states, but in home affairs for such devolution of administration and authority as would make for the satisfaction and contentment of all sections of the people and would not be inconsistent with efficiency and economy.

The issue on which the electors are to pronounce then is clear. You who vote for Sinn Féin candidates will cast your votes for nothing less than the legitimacy of the Republic, for Ireland against England, for freedom against slavery, for right and justice against force and wrong, here and everywhere.


Your answer will be heard round the world. It will confirm the elected representatives of the people in their rightful place as the only authoritative spokesmen and negotiators for the nation. It will give the lie to our nation's traducers, and tell mankind that Irish men and Irish women with red blood in their veins do not yet regard as criminals the brave men who fight against tyranny, and who offer up their lives that the suffering of 750 years may not have been endured in vain.

Let no manoeuvring or intriguing of the enemy divide you. Wisdom and honour go hand in hand. The issue between Ireland and England will never be settled till it is settled on the basis of right. We are advancing steadily to that final settlement. The blossoms are not the fruit but the precursors of the fruit—beware how you pluck them.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): President de Valéra's address to the Electorate

Author: Éamonn de Valera

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Audrey Murphy and Donnchadh Ó Corráin

Funded by: University College, Cork and Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 1134 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2005

Date: 2008

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E900016

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Macardle, Dorothy (1937). ‘President de Valéra’s address to the Electorate’. In: The Irish Republic: a documented chronicle of the Anglo-Irish conflict and the partitioning of Ireland, with a detailed account of the period 1916–1923‍. Ed. by Dorothy Macardle. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, pp. 932–933.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Dorothy Macardle},
  title 	 = {President de Valéra's address to the Electorate},
  author 	 = {Dorothy Macardle},
  booktitle 	 = {The Irish Republic: a documented chronicle of the Anglo-Irish conflict and the partitioning of Ireland, with a detailed account of the period 1916–1923},
  publisher 	 = {Victor Gollancz Ltd},
  address 	 = {London},
  date 	 = {1937},
  pages 	 = {932–933}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Profile description

Creation: by Éamonn de Valera.

Date: 1921-05-04

Language usage

  • The whole text is in English apart from the terms 'Dáil Éireann', 'Sinn Féin'. (en)
  • The terms 'Dáil Éireann' and 'Sinn Féin' are in Irish. (ga)

Keywords: political; prose; 20c; speech

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2011-01-24: Conversion script run, new wordcount made. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2008-07-19: Value of div0 "type" attribute modified, minor modifications made to header; keywords added. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2005-08-25: Normalised language codes and edited langUsage for XML conversion (ed. Julianne Nyhan)
  4. 2005-08-04T14:42:03+0100: Converted to XML (ed. Peter Flynn)
  5. 2005-02-13: Header updated, file reparsed; HTML file created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  6. 1997-02-26: HTML file generated using Omnimark. (ed. Peter Flynn)
  7. 1997-02-26: File parsed using SGMLS. (ed. Mavis Cournane)
  8. 1996-11-18: Header constructed, structural mark-up added, checked and verified. (ed. Donnchadh Ó Corráin)
  9. 1996: Text proofed. (ed. Audrey Murphy)
  10. 1996: Text captured by scanning. (data capture Audrey Murphy)

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