Proclamation for a New Generation

Tuesday, 15 March, 2016
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As part of the 2016 commemorations, schools around Ireland were asked to re-imagine how the 1916 Leaders would see Ireland today and consider whether the hopes articulated in 1916 are still relevant in the Ireland of today. On 15th March Salerno Secondary School, Salthill, Galway, along with other schools throughout Ireland celebrated Proclamation Day. Their Proclamation for a New Generation was delivered by Alannah Cameron and was written by Aoife Donovan, Sarah McHugh and Charlotte O'Regan, Hannah Pamplin.

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Dublin

Proclamation for a New Generation

Irishmen, Irishwomen and Irish children, anyone who considers our country their home and feels the Irish spirit run in their veins. To both our native Irish people and our brothers and sisters who have come to call Ireland home. This year we renew the vows made all those years ago when the Ireland we know was first declared. In 2016, we pause to think about our history as well as our present. We must ask whether we have lived up to the declared promises and hopes of the great leaders of the past. One hundred years later, their ideas of a great Ireland live on. In honour of those who founded the Republic and instilled in us the values of the first proclamation, we summon ourselves to show the same courage and pride in facing the adversities of our time. Much has changed for the better in the last century. However, there is undoubtedly more change to come.

As a nation, we seek to regain and reclaim our love for this great country and its thriving culture. Our nation is one whose culture is celebrated and appreciated throughout the world. Our music and sports have crossed continents and oceans. We commend those who uphold our Irish games and traditions and we salute those who cultivate our Irish language in all its richness. Our heritage and culture determines who we are as a nation and makes us a focal point on the world stage. The beauty of our language is second to none and we must foster a love and admiration for our country and all its uniqueness and enriching heritage. With love and with passion we endeavour to protect and preserve our unique heritage while still showing appreciation for different cultures. We must pledge to preserve the beautiful landscape we are so grateful to have had bestowed upon us. We must ensure a clean and beautiful environment for future generations.

We commemorate the patriotic brave who gave up their lives for our right to live the lives we have today; free from foreign rule, deciding as a democracy how this country should be led. As a nation we pledge to continue to build bridges and reach resolution with those with whom we have been in conflict. Today, we declare the British not only as our equals, but also our friends.  Ireland’s relationship with the outside world has evolved into something to truly be proud of, one which values international trade and values its place as a member of the European Union and the United Nations. A country once insular and closed off has become more open, more diverse and more tolerant. 

We must strive to show fairness and compassion to all people. It is essential now more than ever that we stand united as the welcoming country we are known to be. We as a nation are fortunate to be held in high esteem on the global stage. Other countries look on us for help and guidance and it is our duty to aid those less fortunate than ourselves. We must make true the words on which we have sworn. As suffering people driven from war in their own lands arrive in Ireland, we must open our doors and give them aid. We are their last hope. We must strive to fulfill that hope. As a people who were welcomed by other nations in our times of need, we must now make sure that favour is returned. As a nation, we have put down the arms that kill ­ now we must open the arms that embrace.

Let us not forget also our own citizens who are in need. We must help the homeless, the needy and the poor. We must ensure that everyone has the chance to be happy and to be prosperous, and therefore must offer equal opportunity to all in education and in the workplace. Access will not be limited on the basis of address or income, success not decided by gender or ethnicity. Ireland is a nation, rich in generous minds and ingenuity. We must ensure that this country provides us with the proper platform to excel and make the most of our talents. 

Ireland, we have come a long way, but with political independence comes an entire population to do right by. We believe in an Ireland that listens to its people. We believe in an Ireland that is not afraid of reform; of reinventing itself; of change.

The time has come once again to unite as a nation, hopeful for a greater and brighter future.