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Ó Brádaigh to Step Down September 27, 2009

Posted by Garibaldy in Republican Sinn Féin.

I guess this is the end of an era, with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh announcing he will be standing down as President of RSF at their next Ard Fheis “for reasons of age and health” although he will seek to be on their executive body and be their patron. I can’t say that I regard Ó Brádaigh’s leadership of either Provisional or Republican SF as a positive force in Irish politics. But the fact he is standing down is certainly a moment of significance for his organisation, and possibly for its future. Be interesting to see who takes over – someone of his generation, or someone younger. And whether the next leader is from the north or the south might give some indication as to how far they have been able to tap into the undoubted disaffection of some young people in the north and channel it.


1. splinteredsunrise - September 27, 2009

Meanwhile, as enunciated by Conor Murphy on the Politics Show, Gerry remains immovable.

I still have a lot of time for Ruairi on a personal basis, despite some serious political disagreements. If you want a man of iron principle who’s going to carry on the traditionalist flame in hard times, you could do no worse. But he’s now in his late seventies and has had some health problems over the years, so at least he’s going on his own terms.

I know the core RSF leadership tends towards the elderly, and Ruairi himself isn’t the oldest among them. But they do have some capable people below pensionable age, not all of whom are members of the O Bradaigh family. More interesting for me would be whether some northerners come forward to join a historically western-centric leadership.


2. Garibaldy - September 27, 2009

The original draft did mention the attractiveness of his uncompromising adherence to fundamentals to some young people. It’s definitely been an asset to them. I guess that won’t be lost yet.


3. WorldbyStorm - September 27, 2009

I don’t know Ó B, and why would I, but I was enormously impressed by his biography published some years back and while having huge political differences would find at least some characteristics which would be admirable, and oddly enough maybe not his ‘uncompromising adherence’… but other stuff. Is it my imagination or did MacGiolla say in a Magill interview some years back that he’d easily talk to Ó B, but not a chance he’d talk to those who went with DL.


4. WorldbyStorm - September 27, 2009

BTW, well spotted Garibaldy.


5. Garibaldy - September 27, 2009

He did indeed say that he’d say hello to Ó Brádaigh but not the likes of Dr Rossa, Rabbite et al (I don’t think it was applied to absolutely everyone who went DL but it’s possible).


6. Garibaldy - September 27, 2009

Cheers WBS. I know people here boycott Indymedia and P.ie, but you do get the odd gem 😉


WorldbyStorm - September 27, 2009

I’d never boycott indymedia… but P.ie… Hmmm… no doubt people will get back to you 😉


7. anarchaeologist - September 27, 2009

Glad you’d never boycott indymedia WbS!
This one will probably interest y’all… http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94239


WorldbyStorm - September 28, 2009

seriously though, the thought would never occur…

BTW thanks for the link.


8. anarchaeologist - September 27, 2009

Oh! I should’ve said it’s quite an interesting interview with the authors of THL conducted by Red Wedge.


9. Changing of the guard for Sinn Féin Eile « Splintered Sunrise - September 28, 2009

[…] what I get for not being prompt in reading RSF press releases, for Garibaldy has scooped me. All this is, is the announcement that at the upcoming Ard Fheis, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh will be […]


10. EamonnCork - September 28, 2009

That O’Bradaigh biography, written by an American Literature professor from Indiana named Robert White, is an outstanding book by the way. White doesn’t escape the trap of partiality towards his subject but, then again, who does? And it’s much better written than the majority of Irish political biographies. Very well worth a read folks.


11. Bakunin - September 28, 2009

Eamonn — White is a sociologist, and while the O’Bradaigh book is well done, it is politically bland (sort of like O’Bradaigh/White themselves). He is partial, but that’s ok. He also wrote Provisional Irish Republicans: An Oral History, which is well done for what it sets out to do.

I always found O’Bradaigh a very nice man and willing to help, regardless of whether he agreed with you or not.


12. EamonnCork - September 28, 2009

You’re right, my mistake. It’s Monday. I still think the book is very good. As regards helpfulness, I know that when I started on my own current project I wrote to a number of the smaller political organisations and RSF were the only ones who wrote back, wished me well and pointed me in the direction of helpful material. I saw O Bradaigh got slated for saying in the Mountbatten documentary that Mountbatten was daft to continue holidaying in Sligo. But the same point was made equally forcefully in the book What Kind Of Country by that well known republican extremist Bruce Arnold.


13. Brian Hanley - September 28, 2009

I actually thought it was unfair that O Bradaigh had to defend the Provo line on that programme. The power had shifted north by the time of the Mountbatten assasination and there are any number of senior Provisional IRA leaders from the time who could have been interviewed, or indeed the editor of An Phoblacht/Republican News which had the headline ‘IRA make Britain pay’ after the killings. O Bradaigh’s politics made him an easy mark for the unapologetic view on this one, but I’d like to have seen others try to field the questions.
By the way Eamonn have you come across the interview with several (unamed) PIRA leaders in the Sunday Independent of 19 September 1976? It may be of interest.


14. EamonnCork - September 28, 2009

I suppose O’Bradaigh is a much easier target than Martin McGuinness or Danny Morrison. As, in the same kind of way, it’s much easier to throw your hands up in disgust at Coir and their old fashioned antics rather than focussing on the likes of David Quinn and Breda O’Brien who actually have a lot more to do with, for example, the government’s no to gay marriage. I’ll check out that article, Brian. Thanks for the tip.


15. Eamonn Dublin - September 28, 2009

While I didagree with RSF’s isolationist policy with regard to other groups, their inability to progress forward and their clinging to catholic/nationalist ideals I respect their claim to be the true republicans on this island. Its just that this republicanism is now irrelevant to most people nowadays.As for the O’Bradaigh book, I was very disappointed. For a man at the centre of the republican movement, it almost denied him any role in many of the major issues both military and political. A soft sheen book with never even came close to giving us his insight/role within republicanism.


16. no-one - September 4, 2011

The (still rather) new President of RSF has a blog


Very good. Check out the latest few entries.


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