Problems of interpreting documents: the case of the Democratic Programme (E. O’Connor)
Essay question: What can we learn from the differences between Tom Johnson’s draft of the Democratic Programme and Sean T. O’Kelly’s draft?
According to an interview found in the Irish Times, 16th March 1967, James Ryan suggested that Sean T. O Kelly’s editing of Tom Johnson’s draft of the Democratic Programme was made to ‘put it in a more historic or more presentable way’. Under this draft the report was to be entitled: Clar Oibre Poblacanaighe. To draw detail to the volume of the text, it is noted that ‘of the 133 lines [in Johnson’s initial draft] 66 were deleted’ , furthermore, ‘of the 91 lines in the official record 36 were not in the Johnson draft’ . Such recommendations that were edited majorly by O’ Kelly, sometimes referred to as the Irish derivative O’ Ceallaigh, were hugely challenged by the concept of time. Literally, it was an incredibly hasty task with the pages still hot from the printer when being delivered by speech in a cool felt Mansion House on 21st January 1919. Indeed, the draft was influenced by the guidance of the IRB in certain respects also.
It was essential for the polishing of the Democratic Programme in order to be presented officially as a proclaiming document for Ireland’s independence. A declaration was highly significant of this sort as many other countries’ social evolution and political reformed status was being internationally recognised. By 1867 Canada had obtained its position as an independent dominion state separate from the United Kingdom . In 1901 Australia too followed in suit which was universally applauded and accepted. Success was also granted to Afghanistan which gained certain independence from the UK control over Afghan foreign affairs in 1919. Thus, Ireland was prompted by the ripe time of a revolutionary era. Shock waves echoed across Europe and sprawled from atmospheric transformations of the emerging ascendency of...