Men of the World—I, as a dying man, going before my God, solemnly declare I have never fired a shot in all my life, much less the day the attack was made on the van, nor did I ever put a hand to the van. The world will remember the widow’s son’s life that was sworn away, by which he leaves a wife and four children to mourn a loss. I am not dying for shooting 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 remembered 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!
I have only to make these few remarks. I did not use a revolver or any other firearm, or throw stones, on the day that Colonel Kelly and Captain Deasey were so gallantly rescued. I was not present too, when the van was attacked. I say this not by way of reproach, or to give annoyance to any person; but I say it in the hope that witnesses may be more particular when identifying, and that juries may look more closely to the character of witnesses, and to their evidence, before they convict a person to send him before his God. I trust that those who swore to seeing me with a revolver, or throwing stones, were nothing more than mistaken. I forgive them from my heart, and likewise, I forgive all who have ever done me or intended to do me any injury. I know I have been guilty of many sins against my God; in satisfaction for those sins I have tried to do what little penance I could, and having received the sacraments of the Church, I have humbly begged that He would accept my sufferings and death, to be united to the sufferings and death of His innocent Son, through whom my sufferings can be rendered acceptable.
My Redeemer died a more shameful death, as far as man could make it, that I might receive pardon from Him and enjoy His glory in Heaven. God grant it may be so. I earnestly beg my countrymen in America to heal their differences, to unite in God’s name for the sake of Ireland and liberty. I cannot see any reason, even the slightest, why John Savage should not have the entire confidence of all his countrymen. With reference to Colonel Kelly, I believe him to be a good, honorable man, unselfish, and entirely devoted to the cause of Irish freedom.