Our Gallant Allies?

Pat Walsh

The Easter Proclamation which Padraig Pearse read from the steps of the GPO at Easter 1916 is the founding document of the Irish Republic. It makes specific reference to “our gallant allies in Europe.” Who else could these “gallant allies” be but the Germans and Turks?

The founding fathers of what was to become the independent Irish State quite deliberately chose to mention “our gallant allies” even in the teeth of British propaganda about the behaviour of these allies. All during 1915 and early 1916 Ireland had been bombarded with this propaganda about the “evil Hun” and “merciless Turk” and yet Pearse chose to associate the emerging Irish Nation with its “gallant allies” in Germany and the Ottoman Empire. It was a quite deliberate decision, presumably in order to prevent the volunteering of Irish cannon-fodder, procured through the British propaganda used by the Redmondite recruiting sergeants.

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