1916/2016: A Proclamation for our age

As we face into the next 100 years of the republic, we summon from the past the finest aspects of Ireland’s resources of courage and compassion, of imagination and invention

As Irishmen and Irishwomen, we remember and honour the cultural inheritances and the shared experiences of the countless generations that have made us a nation. We embrace all of those who love and identify with Ireland, from wherever they have come and wherever they may now live. We recognise that the history and future of Ireland belong to citizens who adhere to different political, spiritual and intellectual traditions.

We honour all of those traditions, subject only to their willingness to respect difference and to accept the norms of democracy, equality, protection of minorities, freedom of thought and an open society. We reject the use of violence and intimidation for political ends. We base our republic on the many values we share rather than on the few that divide us.

We cherish our identity, not as a way of dividing ourselves from others, but as that which gives us the confidence to look outwards and to take our place as equal members of the international community. We are proud to belong to Europe and to the world and we commit ourselves to working with all our fellow nations for peace, justice, the protection and expansion of human rights and the preservation for future generations of our planet’s precious capacity to sustain human life.

Ownership of Ireland

We reassert that the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, is sovereign and indefeasible. We recognise that this ownership is a duty and a trust as well as a right and a benefit. We take responsibility for ourselves and our society, for the cultural riches that have been handed down to us, and for the beauty and diversity of our natural environment. We pledge to future generations that we will seek to pass on to them a decent, vibrant and sustainable country.


On the centenary of the declaration of the Irish Republic, we recommit ourselves to the creation and maintenance of a republic that gives self-respect to our collective life by guaranteeing to each the right to live in equal dignity. First among our values is the belief that every citizen must have both the legal, civic and political rights necessary for full citizenship and access to the material conditions that support personal dignity.

Ours will be a republic in which no citizen or group of citizens will be allowed to exert dominance over others in the public or private spheres and none will face discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, spiritual belief or sexual orientation.

Because growing inequality is incompatible with the existence of a republic, we commit our governments to a continuing process of reducing inequality. We place at the centre of public policy the principle that all citizens must have access to sufficient levels of income, housing, education, healthcare and cultural enrichment to enable their full participation in our society and democracy.

We define adequate housing, good education, essential healthcare and access to creative expression, not as commodities but as the necessities on which a decent society is founded. It is fundamental that access to those necessities will not be denied to any citizen on the basis of inability to pay.

Duty to its children

In particular we recognise, as the Democratic Programme of the First Dail did, that the first duty of the republic is to its children. Believing that no child should grow up in poverty, we commit the resources of the State “to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter”. The failure of the republic to live up to that promise for all children should spur us on to fulfill it for the next generation of our citizens.

We wish to have a dynamic and innovative economy that can create a sustainable prosperity for all. We value entrepreneurship, hard work and dedication to the creation of productive and responsible companies and businesses.

We believe that prosperity can be sustained only by the encouragement of creativity and initiative at all levels of society and by giving all citizens the opportunity to contribute their talents, skills and ideas.

We value our heritage of artistic creation both as Ireland’s gift to the world and as the basis for the free, open, questioning and imaginative culture from which a vibrant economy springs.

Our republic is not a thing that can be declared - it must be lived, and it cannot live unless all citizens participate freely and as equals in its collective life. We accept the duties as well as the rights of citizenship.

We will shape our democratic institutions so that they are open, transparent, and resistant to corruption and domination by private interests and so that all decisions are taken at the lowest possible level and with the greatest possible degree of civic engagement.

As we face into the next 100 years of the republic, we summon from the past the finest aspects of Ireland’s resources of courage and compassion, of imagination and invention.

We draw from it confidence in our collective capacity to create a republic that gives, to ourselves, a justified pride and, to the world around us, an example of a small nation that has used its hard-won freedom wisely and well.