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  full transcript - source5  
Report of a meeting of Irish Republicans in the USA in 1865
(Catalogue ref: PRO 30/22/39)
Source 5a

The Fenian Movement.
A Circle Formed in Greenpoint.
Meeting of Irishmen Last Evening.
Speech by James Brennan, Esq.

A largely attended meeting of Irishmen was held at Temperance Hall, in Greenpoint, last evening, for the purpose of forming a new circle of the Fenian Brotherhood. Mr. Geo. J. Campbell presided, and after stating the object of the meeting, introduced Mr. James Brennan, who addressed the audience.

He said that many American people wondered why more Irishmen did not join the Brotherhood, using this fact as an objection to the organization. He was satisfied that many were opposed to the society because it was secret and oath bound.

Source 5b

He desired to say that it was not a secret society; all that was required of its members was to take the oath prescribed by the constitution, enjoining upon Irishmen the extending fraternal feelings among the natives of Ireland in this country, and disseminating sentiments among them leading to the freedom of Ireland. To the freedom of that country the Fenian Brotherhood stand pledged. Where was the Irishman who would refuse to join such an organization for such a noble object? It was said that the Irish people could not be united. He hurled such an idea from him with the contempt that it deserved. The Irish people could be united, and would be when the liberation of Ireland, even at the point of the bayonet, was demanded of England. [Applause.]

Every people had more or less dissension, and the Irish people it was true had theirs, but it was a falsehood to say that Irishmen cannot form as strong and united a people as any people. [Applause.] The contest with England was sure to come, and it would go until the Celt, and not the Saxon, was permitted to rule Ireland. Previous to the famine years there were 9,000,000 of people in Ireland. After that famine only 5,000,000 were found. Many had died, but the great majority had emigrated to America. In Ireland the Irish people can compare with any people under the sun. That country seemed to be in the background altogether, so far as self-government was concerned. Ireland must fight for herself, and if she will only do so her liberty is sure.
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