Inaugural Manifesto of the Irish Socialist Republican Party (1896)


The Irish Socialist Republican Party was set up by James Connolly in May 1896, the initial meeting was held in the snug of Pierce Ryan’s public house at 50 Thomas Street. This Inaugural Manifesto was issued in September 1896 and was probably distributed at the places where the ISRP held regular public meetings; the Customs House, the Fountain in James st, in the Phoenix Park and at Forster place. They also had a Club room at 67 Middle Abbey streetIrish Socialist Republican Party (1896)

"The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees;


Establishment of AN IRISH SOCIALIST REPUBLIC based upon the public ownership by the Irish people of the land, and instruments of production, distribution and exchange. Agriculture to be administered as a public function, under boards of management elected by the agricultural population and responsible to them and to the nation at large. All other forms of labour necessary to the well-being of the community to be conducted on the same principles.


As a means of organising the forces of the Democracy in preparation for any struggle which may precede the realisation of our ideal, of paving the way for its realisation, of restricting the tide of emigration by providing employment at home, and finally of palliating the evils of our present social system, we work by political means to secure the following measures:

Nationalisation of railways and canals.
Abolition of private banks and money-lending institutions and establishments of state banks, under popularly elected boards of directors, issuing loans at cost.
Establishment at public expense of rural depots for the most improved agricultural machinery, to be lent out to the agricultural population at a rent covering cost and management alone.
Graduated income tax on all incomes over £400 per annum in order to provide funds for pensions to the aged, infirm and widows and orphans.
Legislative restriction of hours of labour to 48 per week and establishment of a minimum wage.
Free maintenance for all children.
Gradual extension of the principle of public ownership and supply to all the necessaries of life.
Public control and management of National schools by boards elected by popular ballot for that purpose alone.
Free education up to the highest university grades.
Universal suffrage.


That the agricultural and industrial system of a free people, like their political system, ought to be an accurate reflex of the democratic principle by the people for the people, solely in the interests of the people.

That the private ownership, by a class, of the land and instruments of production, distribution and exchange, is opposed to this vital principle of justice, and is the fundamental basis of all oppression, national, political and social.

That the subjection of one nation to another, as of Ireland to the authority of the British Crown, is a barrier to the free political and economic development of the subjected nation, and can only serve the interests of the exploiting classes of both nations.

That, therefore, the national and economic freedom of the Irish people must be sought in the same direction, viz., the establishment of an Irish Socialist Republic, and the consequent conversion of the means of production, distribution and exchange into the common property of society, to be held and controlled by a democratic state in the interests of the entire community.

That the conquest by the Social Democracy of political power in Parliament, and on all public bodies in Ireland, is the readiest and most effective means whereby the revolutionary forces may be organised and disciplined to attain that end.