Arthur Griffith was the Dublin boy with a passionate love of his country that drove him to the forefront of the struggle for Irish independence. In the 1890's he wrote editorials for the United Irishman urging the populace to believe that self government would be advantageous to all Irishmen. His writings encouraged a non violent approach to independence and he further fuelled national pride by promoting Gaelic culture at every opportunity. In 1905 he founded Sinn Féin and despite his intense promotion of the party it gained little traction with the Irish people. In 1913 he joined the Irish Volunteer Force and although he had an involvement in gun running that was about as close as he ever got to being in the firing line of battle. The 1916 uprising came as a surprise to Griffith and even though he was not involved the British made the mistake of arresting him for encouraging Irish independence. The upshot of this was Sinn Féin was boosted by a wave of support and it set in motion a fervour for independence that proved irresistible to the Irish but became too uncomfortable for the British. The Anglo-Irish war began in 1919 and lasted 2 years until a ceasefire was agreed and he headed the negotiations for an independent Ireland that resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6th December 1921. Ireland was at long last a self governing free state but there were different factions that caused a brief civil war between those who were for the treaty and those who were against it, unfortunately Arthur died before its conclusion so despite his unrelenting work towards liberty he did not live to see a free and pacified Ireland. From great libertarians often come great one liners so here is my compilation of 10 of the best Arthur Griffith quotes
- Mini Bio
- Name: Arthur Joseph Griffith
- Born: 31st March 1871, Dublin, Ireland
- Died: 12th August 1922, Dublin, Ireland
- Occupation: Politician and President of Dáil Éireann
- Alma mater: Irish Christian Brothers
- Firsts: Founder of Sinn Fein in 1905
- Influenced by: Charles Stewart Parnell, Friedrich List, John Mitchel and Thomas Davis
- Trivia: He was the chief negotiator of the Irish delegation that agreed and ratified the the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 6th December 1921
- Quotes about Arthur Griffith: His Irish revolutionary comrade Michael Collins said of him: "In Arthur Griffith there is a mighty force in Ireland. He has none of the wildness of some I could name. Instead there is an abundance of wisdom and an awareness of things which are Ireland"
- The Earl of Birkenhead, British negotiator in the Treaty was quoted as saying about him: "A braver man than Arthur Griffith, I never met"
- Irish politician Kevin O’ Shiel said he was: “master of a superb and enviable prose style – simple, concise and as clear and fresh as a spring well"
"I have in former years often declared that the Three Evil Influences of the century were the Pirate, the Freemason, and the Jew"
"Strange people alien to us in thought, alien to us in sympathy who come to live among us but never become one of us"
"The Irish leader who would connive in the name of Home Rule at the acceptance of any measure which alienated for a square inch of the soil of Ireland would act the part of a traitor and would deserve a traitor's fate"
"Let us stand as free partners equal with England and make after 700 years the greatest revolution which sees the two countries standing, not apart as enemies, but standing together as equals"
"If there are men who believe that the path to redemption for mankind is through universalism, cosmopolitanism or any other ism than nationalism, I am not of their company"
"As long as the Volunteers remain on the defensive we are winning. The only thing that would ruin us would be to take offensive action"
"Something of the primitive awoke in me… I clenched my fists with rage and longed for vengeance. I had not believed they would be stupid enough to do it"
"It is the first treaty signed between the representatives of the Irish government and the representatives of the English government since 1172, signed on an equal footing"
"We have brought back to Ireland her full rights and power of fiscal control. We have brought back to Ireland equality with England"
"So far as my power or voice extends, not one single Irish life shall be lost in that quibble"