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A Farewell to Irish Warrior Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

category international | miscellaneous | news report author Wednesday June 05, 2013 18:42author by Brian Clarke - AllVoices Report this post to the editors

A Critical Link of Continuity

"The fallow years when my father left for England to fight a war with cardboard in his shoes!

A look around the room took me back to Bodenstown commerations of many years agto, men still staunch but grown bent by the years and hard times in and out of prisons. Still true to the Faith as Ruairi would define it. " - Dolours Price
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Traditional Irish Republican Ruairí Ó Brádaigh passed away today at the age 80. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was probably the most significant figure in the Irish Republican movement in Ireland since the war of Independence and besides being Former IRA Chief of Staff served as President of both Sinn Féin and Republican Sinn Féin respectively. I used to meet him at meetings in Castleblayney yeas ago and besides leaving a very strong impression on me, the last one he left with me, was the critical importance of our heritage. I wondered about his commitment to the socialist part of Irish republicanism and his reply was an Irish form of socialism.

Born in Longford in 1932 to a republican family, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh studied at UCD where he gained a degree in commerce. During his time at UCD he became involved with Sinn Féin and joined the IRA, of which his father had also been a member. Althoughr by profession a teache, Ruairí spent most of his time as a training officer for the IRA and in 1954 appointed to the Military Council of the IRA, eventually being IRA Chief of Staff until 1962.

He was elected as Sinn Féin TD in the Longford – Westmeath constituency in 1957. In 1970 Ruarai Ó Brádaigh led the walkout from the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis after the majority voted in favour of the abolition of Sinn Féin’s policy of abstention. He became President of Provisional Sinn Féin which he held until his resignation in 1983. In 1986, Ruarai Ó Brádaigh again led a walk out, this time from the Provisonal Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, when they voted to drop the abstention policy. He and several supporters established Republican Sinn Féin and once again was appointed President until 2009 when he was succeeded by Des Dalton.

Ruarai Ó Brádaigh was arrested, imprisoned and interned many times throughout his life, for his actions and involvement with the IRA. He was perhaps best known for a hard line republican view particularly opposed to decommissioning by the Provisional IRA as part of the Good Friday Agreement.
"Dolours Price reviewing Ruairi O'Bradaigh's biography wrote the following in Indymedia Ireland
Monday June 26, 2006 20:11 by Dolours Price

Cardboard in their Shoes.

"This book belongs on all shelves, in all libraries, in all schools.This is the story of a man, a movement who toiled on, against all odds, who stayed with his choices, he is not the last Republican, he has been a custodian of Republicanism, for generations yet to come. Read this book again and again."

Cardboard in their Shoes.

By Dolours Price.

There is not a time in my remembered history within the family of Republicanism that I did not know the name Ruari O' Bradaigh.

As a child, and later as a girl, I knew him as Mr. O'Bradaigh and I sat silently in the presence of my elders listening to stories of daring and struggle that had been the lot of Republicans throughout the ages. Ruairi O'Bradaigh figured often in these tales.

It is in the nature of life, of tgrowing up, of having 'done one's bit' that I can now call him ''Ruairi'' as he calls me 'Dolours'. The years and the deeds have brought some form of equality of status between us. My respect for him has never faltered and I like to think that I, in my turn have earned his respect also.

It was in Monkstown Culturlann that a biography of Ruairi was being launched. I rarely attend such affairs but the spirit moved me.

The biography by Professor Robert W. White, an American academic, looked impressive and copious copies were being signed by the subject himself, by the author and by anyone who felt a part of this period of Republican history. The fallow years when my father left for England to fight a war with cardboard in his shoes!

A look around the room took me back to Bodenstown commerations of many years agto, men still staunch but grown bent by the years and hard times in and out of prisons. Still true to the Faith as Ruairi would define it.

Bob White astounded me by the depth of research he poured into this work; names that I thought I had long since forgotten popped up regularly and a history I once thought I knew back to front became a whole new experience for me.
Having heard it all, as I thought , at my father's knee - I realised I had only heard a bit. Pieces, chunks, fell into place, some were elating and some were more depressing than even I could have imagined having lived through this time of deceit, double dealing and sell-outs. It was always there. Yes history does repeat itself!

Cathal Goulding, when the subject of constitutional politics, was first raised by the Official Movement is quoted as saying, ''We'll never take Ruairi with us'', they never did, nor did Gerry Adams. This easily read book makes that clear, this is a man who stood and stands in the face of others, willing to compromise, to cut corners, to convince themselves of the ''unimportance'' of the extremely ''important'' positions.

This vast work of academic and personal achievement will be read and re-read, will be thumbed by students, other academics, politicians and those who wish to know the real truth. The intrigue the 'fixing' of conventions, the devious dealings of those full of self concern and importance, the would be ''democract'' all is laid bare and makes for riveting, yet depressing reading.

Bob White describes Ruairi as the ''last Republican'', I think Ruairi would agree with me when I say I believe this to be not true. There are many of us, slightly younger, and many younger again who hold true to Republicanism as Ruairi defined it in 1950. We will always have our small differences (that is part of being a Republican) but overall we are united, no more so than now against the Good Friday debacle.

Asked would he make money from this book Rurai laughed and said, ''Sure when did Republicans ever make money?''. This is not a heavy tome to be laboured over, rather it brings a smile on every other page. They were not the greatest organiisers in the world of war and revolution but what they lacked in expertise they made up for with pure heart and cardboard in their shoes.

Had I been asked to undertake a work of this magnitude I would have shriveled at the thought. Bob White did not, thankfully, and we now have a very important record, not just of one man's life, but of a whole period of Irish history for too long neglected.

This book belongs on all shelves, in all libraries, in all schools.This is the story of a man, a movement who toiled on, against all odds, who stayed with his choices, he is not the last Republican, he has been a custodian of Republicanism, for generations yet to come. Read this book again and again."

Related Link: http://bit.ly/139Buw8

Caption: Ruairi Ó Brádaigh interview

author by dubaltg8publication date Wed Jun 05, 2013 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One of the greatest Irishmen of the 20th century. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

author by Twtonepublication date Wed Jun 05, 2013 23:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rest in peace Ruarí after a life of fighting for Éire.
Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís.

author by newsmediapublication date Thu Jun 06, 2013 01:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We are balanced on the brink of a cataclysmic precipice.

The word 'freedom' has become synonymous in the land of the status quo with greedy pre-conceived perceptions of gain and all of the crap that goes with such maligned thinking.

As an English-born man who has insight, I cannot see a future for the world of humanity as it stands.

Until we are rid of those who value their ill-determined visuallisation of the one life we are blessed with - well, you tell me, what possible hope is there?

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Jun 06, 2013 18:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

Funeral arrangements : Reposing at Smyth’s Funeral Home, Roscommon on Friday 7th June from 5.30pm to 8.00pm followed by Removal to the Sacred Heart Church. Requiem Mass on Saturday at 11.30am with Burial afterwards in St. Coman’s Cemetery. Family Flowers only. House private Saturday morning. Donations, if desired, to CABHAIR (Irish Republican Prisoners’ Dependants Fund), 223 Parnell St., Dublin 1 and to the Roscommon-Mayo Hospice.
(Please note that a bus will be leaving Dublin at 8.45am for the funeral from 223 Parnell Street on Saturday 8th June 2013 ; please telephone 01 8729747 to inquire re same.)

Ruairí Ó Bradáigh : 2nd October 1932 - 5th June 2013. RIP.
Ruairí Ó Bradáigh : 2nd October 1932 - 5th June 2013. RIP.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.ie/2013/06/robert-emmets-grave-old-theory.html
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Thu Jun 06, 2013 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I just received the following via text message -
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh will be waked at the family home in Roscommon from 1pm, Thursday, June 6 to 1pm Friday June7. He will then be taken to Pat Smith's Funeral Home in Roscommon until 8pm when he will be taken to Church.
He will be buried in St Coman's Cemetery after Mass on Saturday. Mass not confirmed but will probably be 12noon.


Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Alisonpublication date Thu Jun 06, 2013 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The man lived to 80 and died peacefully in his bed. Good for him. But the very many often totally innocent victims of the particular campaigns of violence he was involved with, promoted and egged on since the 1950s did not have that choice. Only recently he was on TV effectively excusing the attack on the Mountbatten boating party in Sligo- a sneaky and murderous attack in the Republic of Ireland resulting in the death of two very old people and two young boys. Moreover the bombers would have seen the children in the boat but went ahead anyway. This syndrome of placing lethal militant republican objectives above any consideration of humanitarian and decent values should be questioned before we laud the authors and defenders of that cult too much.

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Thu Jun 06, 2013 21:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh – a most patriotic man (whenever I thought of him as a young person growing up in Co Roscommon, I could not help but think about that great fenian leader John O’Leary – I admired him for his patriotism and dedication, and perseverance, he fought on, when others in the county abandoned it.

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was a man with a great love for his country and its culture. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was an intelligent gentleman (and he certainly was a gentleman, always respectful and polite to me on the rare occasions I got to speak to him, a most rare man). I am so glad I got a signed copy of his book with a message on it and got a chance to speak to him at the Ruairí Ó Brádaigh book launch in Cultúrlann, Comhaltas, Monkstown - many thanks to Tim Pat Coogan too for signing it too (if I had known he would have been there too, I would have brought one of my Tim Pat Coogan books :).

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was a man of courage and conviction, a man with nerves of steel, a fiercely patriotic Irishman, with a fierce determination to bring about an end to British rule in Ireland.

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis, my heartfelt sympathy to his family, his friends, his comrades in Sinn Féin Poblachtach (and to those who simply feel his loss and like me admired him from a distance).

author by proudpaddypublication date Fri Jun 07, 2013 00:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors


there were equally many atrocities committed by the forces of occupation. I see these don't seem to trouble you anything like as much since you don't mention them at all.

I guess killings are far more heinous when committed by paddies fighting to free their country from foreign occupation forces than when committed by the british army

When I see you posting about those too then I'll consider taking your comments more seriously instead of viewing them as just more tasteless pro british useful idiot propaganda on a thread intended to pay respects to a brave man who recently passed away.

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Sat Jun 08, 2013 22:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

Ruairí Ó Bradáigh was buried today in a manner befitting his stature , despite the efforts of the State , armed and unarmed representatives of which repeatedly attempted to disrupt proceedings , disgracefully so.
The 'Related Link' , below (from 'Facebook') , shows , amongst other pictures, how uniformed State representatives attempted to block the grave and prevent mourners from showing their respect.


Ruairí Ó Bradáigh in 1954.
Ruairí Ó Bradáigh in 1954.

Related Link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.513010685413098.1073741831.312436515470517&type=1
author by Brian Clarke - AllVoicespublication date Sun Jun 09, 2013 01:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sometimes words fail but this brought more than a tear to my eye. I extend my profound sympathies
to his wife Patsy and the O Bradaigh family. Ar dheis de go raibh a
anam dilis.

Ruairi O' Bradaigh Saoirse with Old Fenians
Ruairi O' Bradaigh Saoirse with Old Fenians

Caption: Caoineadh cu Chulainn

Related Link: http://bit.ly/13bZSx9
author by Lizbethpublication date Sun Jun 09, 2013 04:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I offer my sympathy and sincere condolences, to the familie of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and his friends.

author by An Draigneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Once again, the Blueshirt Zionist, Alan Shatter, comes away disgraced and defeated. It was incredible to see a gang of police Emergency Response Unit (ERU) thugs taking up position at the mouth of Ruairí's grave. They thought to hem in the funeral proceedings and make the mourners peak past them to see both priest and speaker. It was even more incredible to see the mourners, young and old, without command or discussion, descend on this paltry gang like the great waves of the ocean, and lift the violent crew, like so much trash, before them. The ERU gang would have been pushed across the cemetery wall and out onto the road, if it wasn't for the riot squad running, in panic, to their rescue. The mourner linked arms and stopped the advance of the riot squad - holding all the ground won. Instead of the funeral being hemmed in, it was the ERU gang and the riot squad that found themselves hemmed out and excluded, with the mourners still linking arms and backs turned in contempt towards the free state lackeys, and in respect towards Ruairí Ó Brádaigh. Indeed, I would go so far as to thank Alan Shatter for, once again, demonstrating the weakness of the lackey free state and its mercenary gangs before the power of the risen people. No better tribute could be paid to Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

Shatter's Riot Squad is stopped and contained
Shatter's Riot Squad is stopped and contained

Riot Squad run to save ERU chickens
Riot Squad run to save ERU chickens

Related Link: http://www.apimages.com/Search?query=Ruairi+O%27Bradaigh&ss=10&st=kw&entitysearch=&toItem=15&orderBy=Newest
author by Nicopublication date Sun Jun 09, 2013 19:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yesterday, I awoke like many others to a sun lit shimmering sky, its vibrancy fluctuating with anticipation, between lofty white clouds.

As I prepared for the day, I adorned my traditional republican attire of black and white, befitting, I pondered, as I straightened my tie in the mirror, to bid a final adieu to a legendary republican.

Outside the church we waited for the bell chimes to signal the start of the proceedings. There was a certain ambiance lofting amid the blistering heat, people of all ages chatted amongst each other, their softly murmurs delicately reverberating off the chapel walls.

Inside the chapel, heads bowed and hands clasped. The resonant chants of a man rang through, as the priest spoke with the tongue of our ancient language that echoed among the illuminated, stained glass walls.

As the proceedings came to an end, we again found ourselves outside in the sweltering heat, waiting for our dear patron to embark on one last journey through the heartland of his home town.

But the dominating heat we endured that day was overbearing in more than one way.

Never in my mind did I think that such extreme forces of coercion at a funeral, perpetrated by the armed forces of the State could have ever manifested, in such a fashion.

The irrational behaviour of degenerate gun toting thugs, striding around freely as they impertinently mingled with the congregation, and sought to agitate and cause as much distress as possible, was a truly vile and wicked display of authoritarian State repression and injustice.

As we disembarked from the chapel grounds, scores of people followed slowly behind the coffin, flanked on either side by a guard of honour, and led by a lone piper lamenting airs of resistance that were carried for miles around by the hot blustering breeze.

Upon arriving at the graveyard, the tyrannical police force yet again displayed another abuse of authority. Family members where nearly thrust into the open grave by the armed ERU, who by that stage, had provoked some of the crowd into mobilising, gradually forcing the armed police to the outskirts of the graveyard, and creating the space needed for people to mourn.

The armed police force is based on the fear of a seemingly omnipotent Free State oligarchy, whose impious actions that day, certainly left a lasting mark on me and the crowd, one that will not be washed away so easily by falsified news reports, or forgotten so quickly!

As the main orations came to a conclusion, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, that noble passionate man, the man who lived a simple life and was never bought off by riches, was finally laid to rest by his family, friends and comrades.

To say I was pleased to have taken part in the sending off of a true republican would be somewhat of an understatement. It was an honour, not only to have been there, but also to have been there among my own stock, of republicans, socialists, revolutionaries; the working class!

Rest in Peace Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

Beirigí Bua!

~ Nico

SS Gardaí
SS Gardaí

author by Brian Clarke - AllVoicespublication date Mon Jun 10, 2013 08:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Imagine if you will, being taken from your home, without a reason or charge, by paramilitary police, who regularly collude in murder of lawyers and journalists. You are then imprisoned for three years without being told how long you will remain kidnapped, by these scum state thugs.When a judge is informed about the details of your kidnap, he orders your immediate release. You are taken to the front gate to be released, where you are about to embrace your loved ones, when another dictatorial order, from an unelected English Viceroyal, who inherited her appointed position, from her great, great grandfather, who disappeared millions of your people in a holocaust, orders your kidnap perhaps for the rest of your life, again.

Is this mental torture ? Is this a breach of your human rights. In the instance of Martin Corey, bearing in mind the trauma and his elderly 63 years, it may well be in fact a death sentence, with the history of considerable torture, suffered previously by Martin, at the hands, boots and batons of sectarian state kidnappers who imprison you. The last time Britain introduced internment without trial in the early 1970's, Britain was found guilty by the European Court of Human Rights of torture, when Martin Corey was also battered and tortured at that time.

Now 40 years later, they are torturing him again. How can there be peace with such injustice in British Occupied Ireland? How can the Peace Process work, with the British Tories systematically undermining and breaching it? With British internment without trial last time, the Nationalist Constitutional Party of the SDLP, was forced to withdraw from a parliament, dubbed by their arrogant scum state establishment, as a Protestant Parliament for Protestant people. How then can a supposed Irish Republican Party, now stay in the very same Parliament, even when their own peace loving members, the latest being John Downey, are also being imprisoned for the death of horses, long before the Agreement.

The internment of Marian Price, like the internment of Martin Corey, demonstrated further divisions in the criminal justice system in British Occupied Ireland, following the devolution of policing and criminal justice, after the Hillsborough Agreement of 2010, which was part of the Peace Process.

Marian's case demonstrated the ongoing, all embracing dictatorial power, of the English Viceroyal for British Occupied Ireland, in matters of social control and in controversial internment cases, such as Martin Corey. The reliance by the British on closed material procedures, in alleged terrorist cases, is simply internment without trial and of particular concern to human rights groups, in that the Parole Commissioners, are not members of an independent judiciary in British Occupied Ireland, but are in fact British appointed officers, who were the internment agents, determining the conditions in the first instance.

The role of the Parole Commissioners in Marian and Martin's case and their lack of accountability and authority, should have been put to the scrutiny of the Political Stormont Assembly Justice Committee of the Peace Process a long time ago. The Parole Commissioners in effect gave authority to the decision of judges made years ago, that Marian Price and Martin Corey should be released on bail pending investigations of the PSNI.

It was these decision that the the Viceroyal for British Occupied Ireland ignored, in evoking dictatorial powers, in relation to categories of individuals released or interned under cover of licence, thereby directly interfering with the independence of the judiciary of British Occupied Ireland who ruled years ago, that both Marian and Martin Corey should be released.

The powers that could have released Marian Price on compassionate grounds, were not exercised or supported by the supposed Minister of Justice, who misled the Assembly and the public, after being bullied by MI5 and sectarian power brokers in the Assembly.

David Ford therefore exacerbated the medical and psychological conditions of both Marion Price and the elderly Martin Corey, as their internment was illegally prolonged.without charge or time frame, which after three years in Martin Corey's instance, is torture and a blatant breach of his human rights, even by the tinpot dictator's standards of Viceroyal kidnap, in British Occupied Ireland.

Martin Corey is a fragile old man, who did his bit for his country years ago, like our recently deceased Ruairí Ó Brádaigh. He is a patriot in every sense of the word, of war that had a peace Agreement which the British signed. Martin in his old age, deserves respect, along with the peace and justice he craves for the community threatened with extinction, that he guarded zealously with his life and paid so dearly, with 22 long years of imprisonment, torture and abuse by the British regime found guilty at the European Court. of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Enough is enough, the supremacist British and their sectarian, fascist orange prison regime, have had their pound of flesh, many times over with Martin already. Before the funeral of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh last week, Martin spent 19 years, before being interned for the last three years, lovingly, hand carving the Celtic cross in the photo above, as a mark of the esteem, which he held Ruairi, during those long years of hardship. I am asking all people with compassion, across the sectarian divide, who have respect for their elders and international standards of justice, to campaign on twitter and facebook internationally for Martin Corey. Campaign to Release Martin Corey. Do it for peace with justice.
Do it for Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

Related Link: http://bit.ly/13siusV
author by Hawthornpublication date Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They send the thick trunked riot squad and the wide bottomed plain clothes sorts to a funeral and when you need a Garda for anti-social behaviour or when you see burglars running across your field it takes them an age to arrive if they even come at all. I know there are decent people in the Garda , the behaviour of the guards however at the funeral was deplorable it came across as a brutish show of power and the height of disrespect. How could you live with yourself for behaving this way at a funeral what kind of a human being would not feel ashamed?. Whether the instructions came from the very top remains to be seen. Any alternatives to the Status Quo and the vision of the comprador class must be smeared and made untenable at every opportunity. This was designed to ensure that a false impression went out to the world media , I only hope that people have more savvy and cop on to know dirty tricks when they see them.

author by billy nolanpublication date Mon Jun 10, 2013 21:54author email author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a brave warrior of ireland Rest In Peace Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

My tribute to  Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.
My tribute to Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

author by Derek - Zeropublication date Wed Jun 12, 2013 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What exactly was the purpose of all these 'police' turning up at a funeral, what an appalling lack of respect, no matter what I think of his politics.

author by fear ag caiteamh tabac sa chistinpublication date Thu Jun 13, 2013 03:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

er, I think they wanted to discourage a volley of handgun shots over the grave.

author by Turingpublication date Fri Jun 14, 2013 00:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

they still fear Ruairi. It reminds me of the time Sean McBride died, The Sunday Telegraph had an editorial: Death Of An Evil Man. Yes, they still feared him, you couldn't ask for a better send off.

Same with Ruairi, the Free State turnout was a great send off. He was an unbroken and unbreakable Fenian.

author by leagle eaglepublication date Fri Jun 14, 2013 08:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When the 1937 constitution was enacted Sean MacBride felt that the link with the British crown had been broken. He stopped being a member of the IRA from that time and concentrated on constitutional politics. He refused to lend his name to the H-Blocks protest campaign in the early 1980s saying that he didn't understand the military campaign then being waged by the provisional associates of the dirt strike protesters. [See his book of essays: A Message to the Irish People] As a shrewd criminal lawyer he represented several individuals appearing before the special courts on arms related charges, in spite of his dislike for gun politics. During the time c.1970 until his death in January 1988 MacBride nationally and internationally maintained that the Irish struggle for freedom in the period 1916-1921 had been a legitimate one, and disagreed with Conor Cruise O'Brien's and other historians' views that there had been a 'mistake'.

author by Mick.publication date Fri Jun 14, 2013 16:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1981 - 2013 No change.
Republican, Frank Driver of Kildare who died 1981, notable feature of his funeral was the presence of over 100 Gardai and detectives including members of the Special Branch. Some took up duty on all approach roads, and scores flanked the cortege and later encircled the hillside cemetery where he was laid to rest. The attendance included Ruari Ó Brádaigh,

“Objection is when I say: this doesn't suit me. Resistance is when I make sure that what doesn't suit me never happens again.” ― Ulrike Meinhof

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