An IRA convention, held in December 1969, by a majority of the delegates attending, passed a resolution removing all embargoes on political participation in parliament from the Constitution and Rules of the IRA.
The effect of the resolution is the abandonment of what is popularly termed the "Abstentionist Policy". The "Abstentionist Policy" means that the Republican candidates contesting parliamentary elections in Leinster House, Stormont or Westminster give pre-election pledges not to take seats in any of those parliaments. The Republican candidates seek election to the 32-county Parliament of the Irish Republic, the Republican Dáil or Dáil Éireann, to give it its official title. The declared objective is to elect sufficient representatives to enable the 32-County Dáil Éireann to be reassembled. In December 1938, the surviving faithful members of the latest 32-county Republican parliament, the Second Dáil, elected in 1921, delegated their executive powers of government to the Army Council of the IRA. This proclamation of 1938 was signed by Seán Ó Ceallaigh, Ceann Comhairle, George Count Plunkett, Professor William Stockley, Mary Mac Swiney, Brian Ó hUiginn, Cathal Ó Murchadha and myself Tomas Maguire.
The majority of the delegates at the December, 1969, IRA Convention, having passed the resolution referred to above, proceeded to elect an Executive which in turn appointed a new Army Council, committed to implement the resolution. That convention had neither the right nor the authority to pass such a resolution. Accordingly, I, as the sole surviving member of the Executive of Dáil Éireann, and the sole surviving signatory of the 1938 Proclamation, hereby declare that the resolution is illegal and that the alleged Executive and Army Council are illegal, and have no right to claim the allegiance of either soldiers or citizens of the Irish Republic.
The delegates who opposed the resolution, together with delegates from units which were not represented at the Convention, met subsequently in Convention and repudiated the resolution. They re-affirmed their allegiance to the Republic and elected a Provisional Executive which in turn appointed a Provisional Army Council.
I hereby further declare that the Provisional Executive and the Provisional Army Council are the lawful Executive and Army Council respectively of the IRA and that the governmental authority delegated in the Proclamation of 1938 now resides in the Provisional Army Council and its lawful successors. I fully endorse their call for support for Irish people everywhere towards the realisation of the full freedom of Ireland.
Dated: 31 December 1969
Signed: Thomas Maguire, Comdt. Gen. (Tomás Mac Uidhir)