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ILA Podcast #38: Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, with Charles Tuba March 21, 2022

Posted by leftarchivist in Uncategorized.
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In this episode we’re joined by Charles Tuba to discuss the book Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, by Robert White (Indiana University Press, 2006). The discussion looks at Ó Brádaigh’s strand of Republicanism, and in particular the policies of abstentionism and the Éire Nua policy outlining a federal Irish state.

This is one of a series of episodes centred on particular books, to discuss key issues in the history of the Irish Left and Republicanism. We’ve spoken to Charles previously in episode 25 when we discussed Official Irish Republicanism, by Seán Swan, and also heard about Charles’ own political background and interest in Irish Republican history, including visiting Ireland and finding himself inadvertently on a Republican Sinn Féin march.

The discussion mentions the Éire Nua policy which you’ll find in the archive: Éire Nua: The Social and Economic Programme of Sinn Féin. There are further editions, including from Republican Sinn Féin, listed under the Éire Nua subject heading. Listeners may also be interested in the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis ‘86 Clár agus Rúin.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.


1. Gearóid Clár - March 23, 2022

Very interesting episode, thanks for uploading, I’m about halfway through it.

I just wanted to put in a note, since the discussion does go into some detail on why participating in local politics (county councils) was considered acceptable by Ó Brádaigh et al. but national politics (the Dáil) was not.

What White says in the book, echoing Ó Brádaigh and Ó Conaill’s view, is that participation in local elections and councils was considered acceptable as those bodies did not claim sovereignty over the territories they administered, unlike the Dáil.

I appreciate you point out in the podcast that the councils derive their authority from the government, which is the Dáil (although an argument can be made that the councils pre-date the Dáil as county boroughs), and not looking to push Ó Brádaigh’s argument, more just to throw it out there as the reasoning. Down in the weeds of republican legitimism, all these details and distinctions matter!

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2022

That’s a very fair point GC and would be worth putting in the show notes. And it does provide some logic for his/their approach albeit not necessarily one that completely holds up. Thanks for spotting that. Any other thoughts very welcome. One thing that got perhaps slightly lost was the different conceptions of socialism within PSF too – interesting the way Adams et al had a much harder edged almost IRSP like view of that than O’B et al.


2. Media: The Cedar Lounge Revolution Podcast - SLAte - April 13, 2022

[…] Ó Brádaigh, the Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, was the focus of a recent podcast of The Cedar Lounge Revolution, an Irish political blog. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, who served as Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army, President of Sinn […]


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