Davis wrote a huge amount of editorials, articles, poems and songs for the newspaper "The Nation" in the 1840's - a very influential publication.
"What is the tone of the new journal?" asked one High Court Judge of another.
"Wolfe Tone!" was the sufficient answer.
Davis greatly influenced many republicans, both those of the day, the Young Irelanders, and subsequent ones like Pearse. Of Davis he said; "There was a deep humanism in Tone; and there was a deep humanism in Davis. The sorrows of the people affected Davis like a personal sorrow... he was a democrat in this truest sense that he loved the people, and his love of the people was an essential part of the man and his nationalism"
If our country is ever to recover from it's current plight, to stand on her own feet, to be truly free, I believe it is vital that we look back at our national heroes for guidance and inspiration. They set a fine example, the wishes and aspirations they articulated in word and deed are as just and valid today as they were then. We need people who as Davis wrote in his famous song, 'A Nation Once Again', act selflessly in the national interest;
So, as I grew from boy to man,
I bent me to that bidding
My spirit of each selfish plan
And cruel passion ridding;
Young people don't learn about Tone, Davis, Emmet etc in school. Of the 1916 leaders they learn what they did during easter week, that they got stuff thrown at them, and were executed. Of Michael Collins they learn about the squad and his death. The thoughts, ideas, aspirations and principles of all the aforementioned men are never touched on - At 21 I'm not long out of the education system so I know what I am talking about when it comes to what is taught in history classes in todays schools.
Unfortunately these men have been portrayed in such a way that if one mentions Emmet, the writings of Tone, Davis et al to an average person you'll get a roll of the eyes. People think that they are out of date - that's because they know nothing about them. They have been caricatured as violent, narrow minded, xenophobic and anti-British. This is utter nonsense, Tone's writings in particular are very relevant today, most of these "National Heroes" - if they can even be called that considering how they are being hidden away and ignored by the state - were incredibly visionary and progressive, even by today's standards.
People need to be made aware of these writings, people need to learn about them and their authors - they are inspiring figures, perfect for these bleak, seemingly hopeless times. Perhaps then the crushing apathy suffocating Ireland will disappear, perhaps with their example people will be stirred from their slumber. Obviously this doesn't mean there should necessarily be violence - but impassioned agitation, demonstration, anything other than the meek acceptance of the gross injustice many Irish are currently acquiescing to.
"When my spirit shall have joined those bands of martyred heroes who have shed their blood on the scaffold and in the field in defense of their country, this is my hope, that my memory and name may serve to animate those who survive me." - Robert Emmet, from the dock.
Getting back to the writings of Davis and away from my own thoughts, is there a good compilation of his work available? Something akin to the excellent [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Wolfe-Cronin-Richard-Bennett/dp/0900068183/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349828961&sr=1-7&keywords=wolfe+tone"]Freedom the Wolfe Tone Way?[/ame]