Monday, March 27, 2006

Things are getting Óglaigh

How many armies is a nation state allowed to have? Irish Defence Minister Willie O'Dea reckons only one. Gerry Adams & Co agree. Trouble is, they're referring to different armies.

Sinn Féin proudly sells t-shirts with 'Óglaigh na hÉireann' motifs. Whereas they might argue that every party activist is metaphorically a 'soldier of Ireland' (the literal meaning), the title is of course that of none other than the Provisional IRA, the terrorist organisation widely believed to have been largely peopled during the Troubles by the same folk as Provisional Sinn Féin.

The rift goes back to the early days of the Irish Free State in the 1920's when Sinn Féin broke away from the mainstream Fianna Fáil party and now, several splinters later, claims to be the only legitimate government of Ireland.

It's interesting to see how Sinn Féin's rebelliousness is not just against the British, but equally against the elected government of the sovereign state they want Northern Ireland to be annexed to.

Wille O'Dea has written three times to Gerry Adams, asking him to bin the t-shirts, but he's done nothing so far. Three other letters to Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, the SF rep in Dáil Éireann, have gone unanswered. (Statesmanlike, what?)

Actually, Sinn Féin have got themselves into this pickle by failing to bring this detail of their activities into line with the declared policy of Socialist Republicanism to use exclusively democratic means. Democracy means respecting elected governments and their institutions. It means recognising the sovereignty of the nation state and, in this instance, accepting there is only one legitimate Irish Army, namely the one trained, equipped, managed and controlled by the elected government of Éire.

10 Comments:

At 2:53 p.m., Blogger Fence said...

equally against the elected government of the sovereign state they want Northern Ireland to be annexed to

but they don't want NI to become part of the Republic. they want a brand new country. Run by the only "true Irish patriots."
Themselves.

 
At 3:22 p.m., Anonymous EWI said...

The rift goes back to the early days of the Irish Free State in the 1920's when Sinn Féin broke away from the mainstream Fianna Fáil party and now, several splinters later, claims to be the only legitimate government of Ireland.

Two things are wrong here:

1) The "Old IRA" (the 1916-21 entity) split on the Treaty, with Civil War. Whichever part won would have then become the "official" version.

2) Fianna Fáil split from the Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin faction, not the other way around. The issue was over ending abstentionism from the Dáil in the face of growing pressure from the Cumman na nGaedhael government, and de Valera was for it (and the bulk of the Anti-Treaty side followed him out).

 
At 5:18 p.m., Anonymous EWI said...

"Cumann"

 
At 8:27 p.m., Blogger El Matador said...

EWI- what are latter day FG anf FF are now in agreement on what is the legitimate government and army of Ireland, despite the Civil War. SF now recognise the Dáil apparently, so surely their claim to run the true army of Ireland is nothing less than treason. Idiots.

 
At 12:25 p.m., Anonymous EWI said...

EWI- what are latter day FG anf FF are now in agreement on what is the legitimate government and army of Ireland, despite the Civil War.

Correct - but this wasn't the situation in the 1920s, which is what I ws adressing.

SF now recognise the Dáil apparently, so surely their claim to run the true army of Ireland is nothing less than treason. Idiots.

Yes, but there's issues (to put it mildly) for both Fianna Fáil and Stickie-led Labour in lecturing the Shinners on the subject, as should be obvious.

 
At 9:22 p.m., Anonymous maca said...

Wee correction Big John ... óglaigh means volunteer, not soldier (saighdiúir).

As for "Óglaigh na hÉireann", PIRA can call themselves what they like it doesn't change the fact of what they are. Though Scroblach na hÉireann might suit them better.

 
At 9:26 p.m., Anonymous maca said...

... volunteers actually.

 
At 10:28 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

'oglach' being the singular!

 
At 6:37 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Thanks maca. Deprived Proddy education an' all that! (But I'm trying. BU.

 
At 5:26 p.m., Anonymous maca said...

lol :)

 

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