A New Republic?

Poblacht na h Éireann.

The Arts Workers
of the
Irish Republic
To the people of Ireland.

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of Seamus Heaney and of the dead generations of bards, writers, sculptors, painters and actors from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

Having organised and trained her artists through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Project Arts Centre, and through her open military organisations, the Abbey and Siamse Tíre having patiently perfected her cultural quarter, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by the Arts Council and the Film Board and by gallant allies in Culture Ireland, but relying in the first on her own artistic impulse, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the creative ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish arts, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by poor funding and marginalisation has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to create willfully from their own imagination: four times during the past hundred years they have asserted it through the Nobel Prize. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in paintings, poems, plays, films and sculpture in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Cultural State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of free expression, of speaking truth to power, and its artistic exaltation among the nations.

The Irish Arts Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every book reader, gig-goer, audience member, opera lover. The Arts Republic guarantees freedom from religious bigotry and civil liberty through creative expression, equal rights and equal access to the arts to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the creative expression and cultural prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally through the provision of an Ark for all and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an funding system, which have divided fellow artist from fellow arts worker in the past.

Until our cameras, pens, brushes have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Cultural Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Cultural Government, hereby constituted, will administer the artistic and creative affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

We place the cause of the Irish Arts Republic under the protection of the name of the human impulse to create, Whose blessing we invoke upon our imaginations, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by artistic selfishness, self-promotion and careerism. In this supreme hour the Irish Arts nation must, by its free spirit and imagination and by the readiness of its children to fulfill themselves through play for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

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