The Irish Republican Brotherhood

Hits: 481

One of the most controversial, influential, and well-known revolutionary organizations in the world was the Irish Republican Army (the IRA) considered to be both patriotic and terrorists.

The Fenians

It is of extreme debate the question of its real origin but it is mostly accepted the standpoint that the origins of the IRA are in the Irish Republican Brotherhood (the IRB) or popularly known as the Fenians as it grew out of the Fenian movement.[1] The name is coming from the Irish armed forces in legendary times. The Fenian movement was founded as both the Fenian Brotherhood in the USA by John O’Mahony and as the Irish Republican Brotherhood by James Stephens in Ireland in the same year of 1858. The name Fenian was later applied to all supporters of Irish republicanism. Some of its early members have been actively involved in the movement of Young Ireland. Its military wing became later known as the Irish Republican Army.

The Fenians succeeded in drawing British attention to the Irish Question and to convince the UK’s PM William Ewart Gladstone to seek to find a proper political solution to the problem of Ireland. Some Fenians have been MPs in at Westminster in London at the time of the Home Rule. After 1867, the Fenian Brotherhood became split into three parts, each of them declaratively has been supporting the IRB but practically very divided by policies and leaderships.

The Irish Republican Brotherhood

Since the very beginning of the 19th century, Ireland’s struggle for independence from the UK oscillated between two political concepts of the fight and their groups’ representatives and leaders: 1) constitutional, mass movements, and 2) mostly small, conspiratorial, revolutionary groups. It was the specific contribution of the IRB to the Irish struggle for independence by its possibility to communicate its radical conception of Irish independence and national unity beyond its own narrow confines to a mass national movement that became oriented towards the realization of the IRB’s political and national program.[2]

The IRB as a secret organization was established in Dublin in 1858 by James Stephens (1824−1901)[3] to fight for the independent state of Ireland. The organization had close ties with the Fenian Brotherhood in the USA and it is why its members have been called the Fenians. By the official Governments, authorities and international organizations, the  IRB is considered to be a terrorist organization as using illegal and violent means to achieve its ultimate political goal – the ending of the political union of the Northern Ireland (Ulster) with the UK followed by its unification with the Irish republic into the united or Greater Ireland.

The focal political aim of the IRB was to organize a national uprising in Ireland against the British authorities. The IRB was getting full support by the Fenian Brotherhood in men, funds, logistics, and secure base. However, the British Government arrested the main leaders of the IRB including James Stephens. In 1867 Fenian Revolt, led by Thomas Kelly, was abortive.

After the abortive revolt of 1867, the Fenian movement/IRB became confused as it faced a lack of opportunity for an effective rising followed with internal divisions. The focal question became about the leadership of James Stephens, who did not appear in Ireland in 1867 and, therefore, produced additional problems concerning the organizational reconstruction of the movement. Nevertheless, an internal division within the IRB existed as well as over the question where to hit the UK as the best: in Ireland, in England or Canada? This dispute was finally resolved only after abortive interventions in Canada in 1866−1867 and 1871. The reorganization of the Irish Republican Brotherhood started slowly since 1871, with the release from prison of several effective leaders.

The IRB acquired a formal constitution in 1873 which laid foundations for an elaborate and secret society to be organized on a democratic basis and governed by a partially elected Supreme Council. With the real prospects for revolutionary activities as poor, the right organization’s wing became involved into terrorist actions bombing outrages in England in the 1880s. As a consequence, many members of the IRB became either expelled from the organization or left it while in the USA occurred splits at the leadership level. Only at the very beginning of the 20th century, with a new generation and new Irish organizations like Sinn Féin, the revolutionary tradition became to be revived. Further impetus for the patriotic activities of the Irish republicans arrived in 1910 with the launching of Irish Freedom – a military separatist newspaper.

All Irish republicans became confused in 1914 when the Irish Volunteers have been formed with John Redmond’s commitment of this body to the British war efforts and, subsequently, they split into two groups. It was from the ranks of the dissident group which rejected the leadership of John Redmond that the forces which organized and carried out the 1916 Dublin Easter Revolt would largely be recruited.   

Even though the rising in power and popularity of the IRB was stopped in 1867, the organization, nevertheless, became reborn by taking active participation in the 1916 Dublin Easter Revolt.

The 1916 Dublin Easter Revolt

The revolt was organized, in fact, by the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood which, led by Patrick (Pádraic) Pearse and joined by James Connolly[4] and his small Irish Citizen Army,[5] decided that UK’s engagement in the Great War offered them the best opportunity for the realization of their political and national aims.

The revolt was between April 24th and May 1st when a violent rebellion against the British rule took place in Ireland. It was the secret Military Council of the IRB which intended it to be a national rebellion on Easter Sunday on April 23rd, 1916. However, it appeared that a series of organizational and planning mistakes in the activities of the rebels resulted that necessary supporting arms organized by Roger Casement[6], in fact, did not arrive.

Roger Casement was politically active in the Gaelic League and other Irish patriotic movements. He joined in 1913 the Irish Volunteers. In October 1914, he went to Berlin in order to enlist the Irish prisoners of war in the Irish uprising against London. However, he failed to create a brigade, but, however, succeeded to persuade the German authorities to send some 20.000 guns to the rebels in Ireland on the ship Aud in April 1916 who were preparing the Easter Revolt. He was worried that the supply was inadequate for the rebels. Roger Casement followed the ship in a U-boat and landed on the Irish sea coast on April 20th and immediately tried to send a message to the rebels’ leaders in Dublin to halt the revolt. He was arrested and taken to London for interrogation. Nevertheless, while he was in London, the 1916 Dublin Easter Revolt broke out.

Due to Roger Casement’s unsuccessful mission with the guns supplying, the uprising was officially called off, but Patrick Pearse[7] with his closest followers, nevertheless, made the decision to continue on Easter Monday. However, as a pure result of the organizational confusion, the general Irish national uprising failed, while the Dublin one proceeded. The Irish volunteers lead by Patrick Pearse together with the members of the Irish Citizen Army under the command of James Connolly succeeded to take the General Post Office in Dublin which immediately was transformed into the HQ of the revolt.

A rebels’ leader, Patrick Pearse, officially announced the act of the Proclamation of an Irish Republic by reading down the document and posting it around the post system. At the same time, there were numerous official buildings of public administration in Dublin to be attacked by the rebels and many of them occupied like City Hall, Liberty Hall, the Four Courts, etc. The same happened as well as with some strategic factories and main hospitals in the city.

The British army acted on April 25th by reoccupying some of the important buildings in Dublin and cutting off many of the rebels’ communication spots. The British army became reinforced by the units coming from Belfast and other postings, and on April 27th they started to bomb the HQ of the rebels and the building of the Four Courts. The rebels with their leader left the burning HQ on April 28th and on the next day they surrendered being captured, imprisoned, and investigated. The occupation British authorities imposed Martial Law and the rebels’ leaders court-martialled. As a consequence, Patrick Pears with other fourteen leaders have been executed between May 3rd and May 12th, 1916.

Regardless of the historical fact that the 1916 Dublin Easter Revolt was a big failure, its leaders, but in particular Patrick Pearse, soon entered Irish popular mythology as national freedom-fighters martyrs fighting for the Irish nationhood and independence from the British occupation authorities. Nevertheless, the brutal British reaction to the revolt speeded up common Irish anti-British sentiments which made impossible continuation of the British rule in the biggest part of Ireland which finally ended in 1921 by the founding of de facto independent Irish Free State (without Ulster) when it gained the status of dominion on the partition of the island of Ireland, until 1937. In the year of 1937, the Irish Free State became the sovereign state of Eire and finally in 1949 the Republic of Ireland.

After the 1916 Dublin Revolt, the Irish Republican Brotherhood was superseded by the Irish Republican Army (the IRA).[8]

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

sotirovic@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2020

Endnotes:

[1] About the Fenian Movement, see in [Mabel G. Walker, The Fenian Movement, Ralph Myles Pub, 1969; James Stephens, The Birth of the Fenian Movement: American Diary, Brooklyn, 1859, Dublin: Dublin University College Press, 2009].

[2] About Irish history, see in [Richard Killeen, A Short History of Ireland, Gill Books, 2005; P. W. Joyce, A Concise History of Ireland, Bottega Books, 2017.

[3] About James Stephens, see in [Marta Ramón, A Provisional Dictator: James Stephens and the Fenian Movement, Dublin: Dublin University College Press, 2007].

[4] About James Connolly, see in [Kieren Allen, The Politics of James Connolly, Pluto Irish Library, 1990; Donal Nevin, James Connolly: A Full Life, Gill Books, 2005].

[5] About the Irish Citizen Army, see in [Richard Michael Fox, The History of the Irish Citizen Army, Dublin: James Duffy and Co, 1943; Ann Matthews, The Irish Citizen Army, Blackrock, Cork, Ireland: Mercier Press, 2014].

[6] Roger Casement (1864−1916) was the Irish patriot who went to Africa in 1884 where he joined the British colonial service in 1892. He earned an international reputation as a humanitarian due to his reports about the inhuman treatment of local workers in the Belgian Congo in 1904 and the rubber plantations of Peru in 1912 [Roger Sawyer (ed.), Roger Casement’s Diaries. 1910: The Black and the White, London: Pimlico, 1997; Seament O Siochain (ed.), The Eyes of Another Race: Roger Casement’s Congo Report and 1903 Diary, Dublin: Dublin University College Press, 2004]. In 1916, after his arresting in Ireland, he was charged by the British authorities in London with high treason, convinced, and sentenced to death. It was organized a large campaign to have the sentence revoked, but the copies of his diaries discredited him [Jeffrey Dudgeon (ed.), Roger Casement’s German Diary 1914−1916, Belfast: Belfast Press, 2016]. Roger Casement was finally hung and his remains were returned to Ireland in 1965 where he was reburied after a state funeral. See his biography in [Geoffrey De Clinton Parmiter, Roger Casement, Barker, 1936].

[7] Patrick Henry Pearse (1879−1916) was the Irish revolutionary. His early career was as an educationalist and lecturer, especially in the Irish Gaelic. He joined the Gaelic League in 1895 and soon edited its newspaper. He became convinced that the Irish national identity can survive only if the Irish language followed by traditional Irish culture is going to be revived. Patrick Henry Pearse joined in 1913 the Irish Republican Brotherhood and became elected to the Provisional Committee of the Irish Volunteers. He was, however, a founder member of it in November 1913. He was well remembered after his famous oration over the grave of the Irish patriot Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa in 1915, with its final words “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”. Those words became soon, in fact, the focal slogan of all Irish freedom-fighters against the UK. After unsuccessful the 1916 Dublin Easter Revolt he became imprisoned, investigated, condemned to death, and executed by the British authorities in 1916 in Dublin. In addition to his patriotic work, he considered his work for the Irish language to be of extreme importance to his life, and he was writing stories, poetry, and essays in both Irish and English [Patrick Pearse, The Coming Revolution: Political Writings and Speeches, Mercier Press, 2013; Ruán O’Donnell, Patrick Pearse: 16 Lives, The O’Brien Press, 2016].

[8] About the IRA, see in [Tim Pat Coogan, The IRA, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002].


Originally published at OrientalReview.org website.

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

 

READ MORE!
12 Signs America is on the Decline
When it comes to a few key indicators, Ireland, the UK, Canada and even Albania and Greece are surpassing America.America is declining, in large and important measures, yet policymakers aren’t paying attention. So argues a new academic paper, pulling together previously published data.Consider this:America’s child poverty levels are worse than in any developed country anywhere, including Greece, devastated by a euro crisis, and eastern European nations such as Poland, Lithuania and Estonia.Median adult wealth in the US ($39,000) is 27th globally, putting it behind Cyprus, Taiwan, and Ireland.Even when “life satisfaction” is measured, America ranks #12, behind Israel, Sweden and ...
READ MORE
The US has Invaded 71 Nations since 1776
Make 4 July Independence from America Day (2014).Originally published in 2014Author: Dr. Gideon PolyaOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
French Documentary Exposes Ukraine’s Far-Right: “Ukraine – The Masks of the Revolution”
The activities of aggressive nationalist and neo-Nazi armed movements in present-day Ukraine are the focal point of Moreira’s documentary.  Their existence is not denied by any of his leading critics in France — even as they try to find excuses to justify their actions. On Wednesday, 3 February, as I was about to start assembling this article on the very important documentary about the Maidan broadcast by the French independent television channel Canal + on Monday evening, 1 February, I was headed off by breaking news on Russia Insider, carrying links to the first half of the documentary in English voice-over ...
READ MORE
9 of the World’s 10 Least Peaceful Nations were all Targeted by U.S. Intervention
The 2017 Global Peace Index has declared Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan to be among the “least peaceful” countries in the world. Incidentally, all four have been targets of U.S.-led destabilization efforts that were used to pursue economic interests that suit the U.S. MINNEAPOLIS– The annual Global Peace Index, recently released for June 2017, has found that while the world is more peaceful now than last year, violence has increased significantly overall in the past decade. Although the situation has improved in many countries, the ten lowest-ranking nations – known as the world’s “least peaceful” countries – have shown little change ...
READ MORE
Building new mosques in Kosovo after the Kosovo War in 1998-1999
Today the Old (dying out) Continent is under multi-faced crises pressure some of them having older roots but the others are the product of current political decisions and moves by the European decision-makers (and those who are behind them across the Ocean).The European oldest and mostly painful crisis-problem is a biological declination of the whole continent what from the economic point of view means, at least for the western countries, an import of a huge number of the „outsiders“ in order just to keep the same level of the economic production and national GDP. This solution of course produces a ...
READ MORE
Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon on Kosovo in March 1999
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. [wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
The European Union, Moral Hypocrisy, and Stroking Tension in the Balkans
Over the past several years, analysts and commentators have noticed a rising tide of domestic support for the Croatian homegrown Nazi movement of the Second World War, the Ustashe, which actively exterminated Serbs, Jews, and Roma in the territory it controlled from 1941-45. Far from condemning this alarming development, the Croatian government, the European Union, and non-state actors within it have tacitly and actively supported the rising tide of sympathy towards the Ustashe.This disconnect between the ostensible “European values” of human rights and tolerance that the European Union claims to represent, and its tacit support of trends towards extremist politics ...
READ MORE
Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A History Written With an Attempt to Support Albanian Territorial Claims in the Balkans (Second Part)
Noel Malcolm – Kosovo – A Short History A history written with an attempt to support Albanian territorial claims in the Balkans   Historical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art Belgrade, 2000 Response to the Book of Noel Malcolm Kosovo – A Short History Milorad Ekmecic, Academician Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts Belgrade Historiography By the Garb Only Reading, from necessity, the books by some Western, particularly American scholars, dealing with the past of the Serbs and the Balkans, I recall the impressions that are in my memory, for some reason, related to the socially committed painter Georg Grosz. Today the flashes of those recollections of my college ...
READ MORE
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…
A hegemonic power never says sorry.Three recent episodes underscore this truism.When US President Barack Obama offered a floral wreath at the cenotaph of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on 27 May 2016, some peace advocates in the United States, in Japan and in other parts of the world hoped against hope that he would say “sorry” for the Atom bomb that the then US President, Harry Truman, had ordered to be dropped over Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. The deadly bomb claimed 140,000 lives. Three days later a second Atom bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki killing another ...
READ MORE
Neocon 101: What do Neoconservatives Believe?
“Neocons” believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since ...
READ MORE
WHITE NETTLE: global-politics.eu
Read more about the magazine at:IMPRESSUMPublish and AdvertisePublish your articles on global politics online & advertise your website for a moderate fee on our website.Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.Join the debate on our Twitter feed: @nettle_white
READ MORE
Balkan ‘Genocides’ are not to be Questioned
Genocide accusations are, it would seem, the latest fashion spreading out of the Balkans. On December 5, a former minister in the “government” of NATO occupied and administered Kosovo, Ivan Todosijević, who happens to be an otherwise occupation friendly and cooperative ethnic Serb, was sentenced to a two-year prison term. The court found him guilty of making what it considered the outrageous claim that the so-called genocidal “Račak massacre,” which in 1999 triggered NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, was an imposture. Since the trial began just two days before, by Balkan standards the swiftly reached verdict was remarkably expeditious, suggesting the ...
READ MORE
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
First of all, taking into consideration the particular region of the Balkans in the context of Russia's national interests, we should consult official documents reflecting the wishes and intentions of the government. It is therefore necessary to consider Russia’s foreign policy doctrine. Foreign policy strategy The Russian Federation's previous foreign policy doctrine was made public on July 15th, 2008. Russian objectives were marked as the following: - Impacting global processes in order to establish a just and democratic world order based on collective principles in solving international problems and on the rule of international law, primarily the UN Charter provisions as well as equal ...
READ MORE
International Systems of States and Global Security Models
IntroductionThe fundamental aim of the text below is to deal with the concept and models of global security as one of the crucial topics of global political studies. We have to keep in mind that a term and notion of security usually imply a kind of sense of protection and safety from different possible harms coming from „outside“. Therefore, it can be generally acceptable and understandable that the states want to protect their own territories by expanding great resources in making their territorial safe. Security topics are of a very different kind, ranging from the causes of conflict between states ...
READ MORE
Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War: America’s Hegemonic Project
Тhe world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms ...
READ MORE
Who are the Serbs?
Serbs: Basic factsEthnic location: Central and western part of the Balkan Peninsula (South-East Europe)Population: 10.2 million (1.8 million Serbs live outside their ethnic location)Language: SerbianReligion: Eastern Orthodox Christians1 Introduction Serbs belong to the Southslavonic group of Indo-European peoples. As their tradition, culture, language, beliefs, and customs show, the ethnogenesis of Serbs goes far back into the past. Serbian ancestors, Protoslavs and Old Serbs, were described in the 5th century BC by Herodotus, under the names of Neuri and Budini, living north of the Danube in the region between Dniepar and north-eastern Carpathian Mountains.The first mention of the name “Serbs” appears ...
READ MORE
How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen
Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, ...
READ MORE
Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Global Neoliberalism and America’s Drive for World Domination
Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted.  The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States.  Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power.  The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “anti-terrorism”today.Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: An Evil Little War (Almost) All US Candidates Liked
Although the 2016 presidential election is still in the primaries phase, contenders have already brought up America’s failed foreign wars. Hillary Clinton is taking flak over Libya, and Donald Trump has irked the GOP by bringing up Iraq. But what of Kosovo? The US-led NATO operation that began on March 24, 1999 was launched under the “responsibility to protect” doctrine asserted by President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. For 78 days, NATO targeted what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – which later split into Serbia and Montenegro – over alleged atrocities against ethnic Albanians in the ...
READ MORE
“Unlimited Imperialism”: History of American Militarism
It is the Unlimited Imperialists along the line of Alexander, Rome, Napoleon and Hitler who are now in charge of conducting American foreign policy…Historically this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting ...
READ MORE
12 Signs America is on the Decline
The US has Invaded 71 Nations since 1776
French Documentary Exposes Ukraine’s Far-Right: “Ukraine – The Masks of the Revolution”
9 of the World’s 10 Least Peaceful Nations were all Targeted by U.S. Intervention
Europe Between Kosovization and Jihadization
Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon on Kosovo in March 1999
The European Union, Moral Hypocrisy, and Stroking Tension in the Balkans
Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A History Written With an Attempt to Support Albanian Territorial Claims in the Balkans (Second Part)
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…
Neocon 101: What do Neoconservatives Believe?
WHITE NETTLE: global-politics.eu
Balkan ‘Genocides’ are not to be Questioned
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
International Systems of States and Global Security Models
Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War: America’s Hegemonic Project
Who are the Serbs?
How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen
Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Global Neoliberalism and America’s Drive for World Domination
Kosovo: An Evil Little War (Almost) All US Candidates Liked
“Unlimited Imperialism”: History of American Militarism

FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share