Happy 4th of July - Don’t Text Me, I’ll Text You!
A Letter from Ireland
Happy 4th of July to my American friends and family. Enjoy the get-togethers, the fireworks, and the parades.
A friend of mine marks the 4th of July every year with a simple text: “Happy Independence Day! What's Keeping You!!!”
America's Declaration of Independence and subsequent Revolutionary War forged a new Nation. The Irish and Scots-Irish fought side by side against the forces of the British Empire, and their bravery and fierceness in battle are fully recognized. They, with others, gave their all for the cause of liberty and promise of equal rights in their own nation. A home for all with the commitment to build a more perfect Union.
The impact of the war of independence provided a beacon of hope for nations that struggled against occupation and empire. No more so than in Ireland.
The United Irishmen, led by Wolfe Tone, looked to the US and France for inspiration and support for the cause of an independent Ireland. It was a revolutionary movement founded on the equal rights of all citizens and sought to break the union with Britain and “to unite Catholic, Protestant, and Dissenter under the common name of Irishman”.
In 1776, these leaders of the movement for a free and independent Ireland were described, "as Americans in their hearts," by Lord Harcourt in his report to Dublin Castle. It was not meant as a compliment.
Wolfe Tone was then exiled to the US where he met with revolutionary leaders and made contact with the French. He traveled from the US to France to raise an invasion force.
The relationship between Revolutionary America and Revolutionary Ireland has endured. We now have a peaceful and democratic path to Irish Unity, an option denied to Wolfe Tone and all others that followed, and thanks to the continued support for Friends of Sinn Féin from all over America we are closer than we have ever been.
I am certain that this will be the generation that will deliver a united Ireland, and I look forward to when we will all celebrate Independence Day for Ireland.
So in the meantime, Emmet, don’t text me, I’ll text you.
Have a great weekend, stay safe, and enjoy the 4th of July holiday.
Ciaran Quinn Sinn Féin Representative to North America