The Burkean –
Extracts from a 1917 text by Sinn Féin activist and subsequent Treatyite TD Darrell Figgis on the genesis and function of the pre-conquest Gaelic state.
A Nation is crowned when it exists in the world not only by virtue of a continuing national life, sustained by history and limited by natural frontiers, but also by reason of a State in which its intuitions and desires are expressed in a form as flexible as its containing life.
The stubbornest national sense—and nowhere in the world has that sense proved more stubborn than in Ireland—can only be said to exist as a protest, rather than as a power, until it can take to itself that eventful crown.
No other nation, or combination of nations, or empires or dominions, can give it that crown. It must beat it out of its own sense of wisdom and equity and beauty. It can only be responsible to its own soul and intellectual life for the manner of that crown, not only because in no other sense can the word responsibility be said to apply, but also because of a certain inevitable result.