Contemporary sources regarding the tragedy of the Manchester Martyrs
William Phillip Allen spoke in his own defence:
"No man in this court regrets that death of Sergeant Brett more than I do, and I positively say, in the presence of the Almighty and ever-living God, that I am innocent, aye, as innocent as any man in this court. I don't say this for the sake of mercy; I want no mercy
- I'll have no mercy. I'll die, as many thousands have died, for the sake of their beloved land, and in defence of it. I will die proudly and triumphantly in defence of republican principles
, and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people. Is it possible we are asked why sentence should not be passed upon us, on the evidence of prostitutes off the streets of Manchester, fellows out of work, convicted felons - aye, an Irishman sentenced to be hung when an English dog
would have got off. I say positively and defiantly, justice has not been done me since I was arrested. If justice had been done me, I would not have been handcuffed at the preliminary investigation in Bridge St. and in this court of justice has not been done me in any shape of form.
I feel the righteousness of my every act with regard to what I have done in defence of my country. I fear not. I am fearless - fearless of the punishment that can be inflicted on me . . . My name, sir, might wish to be known. It is NOT William O'Meara Allen. My name is William Phillip Allen. I was born and reared in Bandon, in the county of Cork, and from that place I take my name; and I am proud of my country and proud of my parentage. My lords, I have done."
A short poem written in a letter by Michael O'Brien to his brother:
"Far dearer the grave or the prison,
Illum'd by one patriot name,
Than the trophies of all who have risen
On liberty's ruin to fame"
The last declaration of Michael Larkin:
"I am not dying for shooting [Sergeant] Brett, but for mentioning Colonel Kelly's and Deasey's names in the court. I am dying a patriot for my God and my country, and Larkin will be remembed in time to come by the sons and daughters of Erin. Farewell, dear Ireland, for I must leave you, and die a martyr for your sake. Farewell, dear mother, wife, and children for I must leave you all for poor Ireland's sake. Farewell, uncles, aunts, and cousins, likewise sons and daughters of Erin. I hope in heaven we will meet another day. God be with you. Father in heaven, forgive those that have sworn my life away. I forgive them and the world, God bless Ireland!"
A poem that appeared in The Nation following the execution of the "noble hearted three":
Let the echoes fall unbroken;
Let our tears in silence flow;
For each word thus nobly spoken,
Let us yield a nation's woe;
Yet, while weeping, sternly keeping
Wary watch upon the foe
An eyewitness to the Manchester men's funeral procession in Dublin:
"The procession took one hour and forty minutes to pass the Four Courts. Let us assume that as the average time in which it would pass any given point, and deduct ten minutes for delays during that time. If, then, it moved at the rate of two and a half miles per hour, we find its length, with those suppositions, would be three and three quarter miles. We may now suppose the ranks to be three feet apart and consisting of ten in each, at an average. The total number is therefore easily obtained by dividing the product of 3 1/2 and 5280 by 3, and multiplying the quotient by 10. This will give as a result 61,600
, which I think is a fair approximation to the number of the number of people in the procession alone."