Ruairi O Bradaigh

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary
Robert W. White
Foreword by Ed Moloney
Distribution: World
Publication date: 2/6/2006
Format: cloth 464 pages, 24 b&w photos, 2 maps
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-34708-4
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Description

Choice Outstanding Academic title for 2006
“In a very real sense, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh can . . . be said to be the last, or one of the last Irish Republicans. Studies of the Provisional movement to date have invariably focused more on the Northerners and the role of people like Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. But an understanding of them is not possible without appreciating where they came from and from what tradition they have broken. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh is that tradition and that is why this account of his life and politics is so important.” —from the foreword by Ed Moloney, author of A Secret History of the IRA

Since the mid-1950s, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh has played a singular role in the Irish Republican Movement. He is the only person who has served as chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army, as president of the political party Sinn Féin, and to have been elected, as an abstentionist, to the Dublin parliament. Today, he is the most prominent and articulate spokesperson of those Irish Republicans who reject the peace process in Northern Ireland. His rejection is rooted in his analysis of Irish history and his belief that the peace process will not achieve peace. Instead it will support the continued partition of Ireland and result in continued, inevitable, conflict.

The child of Irish Republican veterans, Ó Brádaigh has led IRA raids, been arrested and interned, escaped and been “on the run,” and even spent a period of time on a hunger strike. An articulate spokesman for the Irish Republican cause, he has at different times been excluded from Northern Ireland, Britain, the United States, and Canada. He was a key figure in the secret negotiation of a bilateral IRA-British truce. His “Notes” on these negotiations offer special insight to the 1975 truce, the IRA cease-fires of the 1990s, and the current peace process in Ireland.

Ó Brádaigh has been a staunch defender of the traditional Republican position of abstention from participation in the parliaments in Dublin, Belfast, and Westminster. When Sinn Féin voted to recognize these parliaments in 1970, he led the walkout of the party convention and spearheaded the creation of Provisional Sinn Féin. He served as president of Provisional Sinn Féin until 1983, when he was forced from the position by his successor, Gerry Adams. In 1986, with Adams as its president, Provisional Sinn Féin recognized the Dublin parliament. Ó Brádaigh led another walkout and later became president of Republican Sinn Féin, a position he still holds.

Author Bio

Robert W. White is Dean of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts and Professor of Sociology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. He is author of Provisional Irish Republicans: An Oral and Interpretive History and co-editor of Self, Identity and Social Movements. He lives in Indianapolis.

Reviews

"A tour de force. Indispensable for all Irish studies collections. . . . Essential." —Choice

"In a very real sense, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh can . . . be said to be the last, or one of the last Irish Republicans. Studies of the Provisional movement to date have invariably focused more on the Northerners and the role of people like Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. But an understanding of them is not possible without appreciating where they came from and from what tradition they have broken. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh is that tradition and that is why this account of his life and politics is so important." —from the foreword by Ed Moloney, author of A Secret History of the IRA

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Table of Contents

Chronology
Foreword
Introduction
1. Matt Brady and May Caffrey
2. The Brady Family: Irish Republicans in the 1930s and 1940s
3. Off to College and into Sinn Féin and the IRA: 1950—1954
4. Arms Raids, Elections, and the Border Campaign: 1955—1956
5. Derrylin, Mountjoy, and Teachta Dála: December 1956—March 1957
6. TD, Internee, Escapee, and Chief of Staff: March 1957—June 1959
7. Marriage and Ending the Border Campaign: June 1959—February 1962
8. Political and Personal Developments in the 1960s: March 1962—1965
9. Dream-Filled Romantics, Revolutionaries, and the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association: 1965—August 1968
10. The Provisionals: September 1968—October 1970
11. The Politics of Revolution: Éire Nua, November 1970—December 1972
12. International Gains and Personal Losses: January 1973—November 1974
13. The Responsibilities of Leadership: November 1974—February 1976
14. A Long War: March 1976—September 1978
15. A New Generation Setting the Pace: October 1978—August 1981
16. "Never, that's what I say to you—Never": September 1981—October 1986
17. "We are here and we are very much in business": October 1986—May 1998
Epilogue
Appendix
Notes on Sources
Works Cited
Index