- Ruairí Ó Brádaigh
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"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
At his death in 2013, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh remained a divisive and influential figure in Irish politics and the Irish Republican movement. He was the first person to serve 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. He was a prominent, uncompromising, and articulate spokesperson of those Irish Republicans who questioned the peace process in Northern Ireland. His concern was rooted in his analysis of Irish history and his belief that the peace process would not achieve peace. He believed that it would support the continued partition of Ireland and result in continued, inevitable, conflict.
The child of Irish Republican veterans, Ó Brádaigh led IRA raids, was arrested and interned, escaped and lived "on the run," and even spent a period of time on a hunger strike. Because he was an effective spokesman for the Irish Republican cause, he was at different times excluded from Northern Ireland, Britain, the United States, and Canada. He was also a key figure in the secret negotiation of a bilateral IRA-British truce in the mid-1970s.
In a brief afterword for this new edition, author Robert W. White addresses Ó Brádaigh's continuing influence on the Irish Republican Movement, including the ongoing "dissident" campaign. Whether for good or bad, this ongoing dissident activity is a part of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh's enduring legacy.
Preface to the Paperback Edition
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
Afterword: The Legacy of Ruarí Ó Brádaigh
Notes on Sources
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.
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
A tour de force. Indispensable for all Irish studies collections. . . . Essential.~Choice
Related video: Unfinished Business: The Politics of "Dissident" Irish Republicans - features interview with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh