Location: Flemings Hotel. Private meeting.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER read the following letters and cablegram from DIARMUID LYNCH (Cork South East):
"New York. Have mailed letter Hales transmitting resignation as member Dail Eireann."
(Signed). "DIARMUID LYNCH."
(Copy Letter to Speaker).
"A Chara dhil:—
"Herewith I enclose copy of my letter of this date addressed to the people of South-East Cork, from which you will note that I have resigned as Teactaire Dail Eireann for that constituency. The reasons which impelled me to that course are stated therein.
"Irrespective of other aspects of the case, I am happy to feel that this action on my part will afford the Government of the Irish Republic a fresh opportunity of functioning as such in the matter of conducting the election of my successor to An Dail Eireann.
"Please convey my congratulations to my old comrades on their progress in defeating the usurping English Government in Ireland, and my best wishes for your continued and complete success.
"Long live the Irish Republic!
"With kindest personal regards."
(Signed), "DIARMUID LYNCH."
(Copy Letter to People of South-East Cork).
"The honour which you conferred on me in my absence from Ireland by electing me, unopposed, as your Representative to Dail Eireann at the General Election, December, 1918, is one which I shall ever gratefully remember. In being thus honoured by the citizens of my native district, without solicitation or desire for office on my part, I have reason to feel a pardonable pride.
"While fully appreciating the confidence which you have reposed in me, I realised at the time of my election that the English Government having deported me from Ireland through the exercise of its naval and military power, it would prevent my return thereto until such time as the Irish Republic secured its due recognition.
"In full knowledge of how important it was that the representative for South-East Cork should be on the spot in Ireland to attend to the affairs of the Constituency and of the Nation, I seriously considered resigning at that time the position of Teactaire but concluded that my resignation then would have been an embarrassment inasmuch as the Dail had not yet perfected laws governing such elections.
"Differences have arisen since July, 1919, between President de Valera and members of Dail Eireann now in the United States on the one hand, and the recognised leaders of the movement here on the other, as to the proper conduct of the campaign in America for the recognition of the Irish Republic. My judgment in this matter, based as it has been upon an intimate knowledge of conditions in America, was generally in agreement with the American Leaders. This circumstance has governed my actions as National Secretary of the Friends of Irish Freedom, and has furthered my determination to immediately tender my resignation as a member of Dail Eireann. The only consideration which deterred me from giving effect to that determination was that my action might have been misconstrued by the enemies of the Irish Republic, and heralded as a break in that splendid unity which has marked the progress of the Republican Government in Ireland.
"Now, however, it has become evident from letters apparently written by officials of the Irish Republican Government at present in America, captured by the English Government on the person of a man named Barry and published in the Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago papers, that my resignation may at this time be properly offered without adding to the risk of such misconstruction.
"I decline to permit my actions here or the actions of those men who have consistently worked for a generation in America for the establishment in Ireland of a form of government similar to that which prevails in these United States, from being made the subject of controversy and possible dissension in my Constituency. Without acquaintance with conditions in America, you, my friends, cannot possibly understand the American attitude, nor, in particular, the position of those who through the years have borne the brunt of the fight here. It would not be fair to ask you to express an opinion on the merits of the controversy which now diverts the attention of the supporters of the Irish Republic in this country, and it would be unwise to inject it into South-East Cork.
"The foregoing reasons impel me to hereby resign my position as Teactaire Dail Eireann representing the Constituency of South-East Cork. I am forwarding a duplicate of this resignation to the Speaker of An Dail Eireann.
"In thus definitely severing my official connection with you I desire once more to tender to all my old constituents my sincere thanks for the very great honour conferred on me in my election as your Representative to the first Congress of the Irish Republic, and I beg to assure you of my continued interest in your welfare and in the cause of the entire Irish Nation.
"No matter what vicissitudes the future may have in store for me, I shall always cherish with pride the part which I had the honour to fulfil in the councils of those who made ‘Easter Week' possible and solidified the foundations of the Irish Republic. It is permissible for me now to speak with a certain amount of freedom in these matters, and it may interest you to learn that during those eventful years prior to ‘Easter Week' I was one of the selected few in whose hands lay the destiny of the Irish Republic; that my unalterable belief in the necessity of re-baptizing the ideals of Emmet, Tone and Mitchell in the blood of men strong in the faith of Irish Republicanism in order to preserve the National Soul of Ireland, guided me to the right course of action; that my voice and influence were invariably in favour of the Irish Nation reasserting itself in arms before the existing favourable opportunity had passed. Results have justified my judgment and I am happy in this knowledge.
"I now feel more free to continue my efforts here for the recognition of the Irish Republic on lines which long and practical experience in America have shown me to be for the best interests of the Irish Cause.
"I pray God to preserve the unity and magnificent courage of those who in Ireland are battling against the brutal militarism of England; may He give light to those citizens of the Irish Republic who are as yet irresponsive to the Proclamation of ‘Easter Week' that ‘The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights, and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government which have divided a minority from a majority in the past.'
"With renewed assurance of my esteem and my interest in your welfare, and a special word of grateful remembrance to those splendid comrades in South-East Cork who in less enlightened days stood unflinchingly for the principle of Irish Republicanism.
"Is mise, le meas mor,
(Signed), "Diarmuid Lynch."
The ACTING-PRESIDENT observed that as the letter of resignation was addressed to the people of South-East Cork, the next step in the matter lay with the South-East Cork Executive of Sinn Fein. The Dail, of course, would accept the resignation. Personally he was very sorry, but they had no alternative. From advices received from the United States he understood that the friction was for all effective purposes at an end, as 99 per cent. of the people there had rallied to Mr. de Valera.