Clann na Poblachta to PSF?

MichaelR

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I wonder if there are any people who eventually went on from Clann na Poblachta, which eventually folded, to PSF. Or did the CnP tradition die out entirely? CnP and PSF seem somewhat similar politically.

In particular, the last CnP TD was John Tully of Cavan. And then there is a PSF Councillor in Cavan, Pauline Tully, known as the victim of a stabbing by her husband (one of the murderers of Garda McCabe). Perhaps this is the same family?
 


making waves

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Clann na Poblachta dissolved itself in 1965 - well before the establishment of PSF. Prior to its dissolution CnaP was in merger talks with the LP.

It is possible that some members of CnaP ended up in PSF but the number is likely to have been small and they were probably quite old at the time. The only national long term remnant of CnaP was Noel Browne who was elected on a number of occasions after himself and Jack McQuillan left CnaP in the 1950s.
 

Antóin Mac Comháin

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''(John) Jack McQuillan (30 August 1920 – 8 March 1998) was an Irish politician, trade union official and army officer.

He was born in Ballyforan, County Roscommon in 1920. He was a member of the Roscommon Gaelic football team that won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1943 and 1944. He began a career as an officer in the Irish Army though resigned to work as a local government official.

He was elected to Dáil Éireann on his first attempt as a Clann na Poblachta Teachta Dála (TD) for the Roscommon constituency at the 1948 general election.[1] After fellow Clann na Poblachta TD, Noël Browne resigned as Minister for Health, McQuillan resigned from Clann na Poblachta in support of Browne and sat as an independent TD. He was re-elected at the 1951, 1954 and 1957 general elections as an independent TD.[2]

On 16 May 1958, the National Progressive Democrats party was founded with Noël Browne and McQuillan as the party's leaders. Between 1958 and 1961, 7 of the 9 motions discussed in Private Member's Time had been proposed by one of them. In 1961 and 1962 they asked 1,400 parliamentary questions, 17% of the total. The Taoiseach Seán Lemass paid them a unique compliment by referring to them as "the real opposition". Both were re-elected at the 1961 general election. In October 1963 both men joined the Labour Party. This new arrangement did not prove electorally beneficial to McQuillan as he lost his seat in Roscommon at the 1965 general election. However, he was elected to Seanad Éireann by the Administrative Panel. He resigned the Labour Party whip in 1967 and did not seek re-election at the 1969 general election, and retired from his Roscommon County Council seat in 1974.

When the Socialist Labour Party was founded in 1977, McQuillan joined as a trustee of the new party but later resigned. Remaining close to Noël Browne he lobbied hard for him to get the Labour Party nomination to contest the 1990 presidential election for the Labour Party. However, Mary Robinson was the preferred candidate of Dick Spring.''

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Progressive_Democrats

The Trinity College branch of the Labour Party is named after Dr David Thornley, an English-born TD who sat in the Dáil for the Dublin north-west constituency from 1969-77, when he lost his seat.*

Thornley was an outspoken deputy and was the subject of vast criticism in December 1972 when he visited Seán MacStiofáin, then Provisional IRA chief-of-staff, in the Mater hospital. Thornley stated that he knew such a visit would earn him the sneers of a ‘gentle, kindly, indolent Taoiseach’ and taunts of ‘Provo supporter’. Thornley stated that he was in support of the peaceful re-integration of the northern state.

In 1976, the coalition government banned a planned Provisional Easter parade in Dublin city. Threats were made that any civil servant who attended the march would lose their jobs and any pension contributions. The parade went ahead anyway – the Irish Independent reported a turnout of 10,000 – and deputy Thornley sat on the principal viewing platform along with leading Provisionals.

As a result of this, the deputy was deprived of the party whip. He was also subject to a £10 fine, which he declared he would not pay. Thornley’s basis for attending the parade so prominently was to challenge the government – his own party included – on their bullying policies.

He died at the relatively young age of 42 in 1978. Dr Thornley had held senior positions within Trinity College prior to his political career, which might justify the Labour branch in the university naming itself after him. However, aside from his unorthodox attitudes towards the Provisional IRA, there is also this:

''Thornley was so committed to Browne throughout his life, going so far as to follow him into the Socialist Labour Party following his departure from the Labour Party, a point not mentioned in the book.''

A rebel without a political platform - Books, Entertainment - Independent.ie

Any Trinity students/alumni able to shed light on this..?

*page 5 ‘Labour Youth branch reports'
 

Antóin Mac Comháin

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Clann na Poblachta dissolved itself in 1965 - well before the establishment of PSF. Prior to its dissolution CnaP was in merger talks with the LP.

It is possible that some members of CnaP ended up in PSF but the number is likely to have been small and they were probably quite old at the time. The only national long term remnant of CnaP was Noel Browne who was elected on a number of occasions after himself and Jack McQuillan left CnaP in the 1950s.
My step-grandfather was a member of the National Progressive Democrats. His brother was a member of the Labour Party, and the Socialist Labour Party.

The only party I was ever a member of, were the party that supported you and the thugs in the Unite union, in west Tallaght, who you claimed would have me escorted from a protest.
 

SideysGhost

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CnP is interesting in that both they, and the later example of DL, pointedly show up FGs utter hypocrisy when it comes to modern SF,

Sean MacBride abandoned physical-force republicanism in late 1937. In 1946 he formed Clann na Poblachta, and by 1948 he was Minister for External Affairs in the First Inter-Party Govt with....Fine Gael & Labour, amongst others. 11 years from armed struggle to Government.

Democratic Left didn't decisively break with the OIRA until 1992 and were in Govt with....Fine Gael and Labour....by the end of 1994! Two years :shock:
 

The Floater

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My step-grandfather was a member of the National Progressive Democrats. His brother was a member of the Labour Party, and the Socialist Labour Party.

The only party I was ever a member of, were the party that supported you and the thugs in the Unite union, in west Tallaght, who you claimed would have me escorted from a protest.
I'm genuinely struggling to figure out which party your talking about.
 

PeaceGoalie

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PSF are a neo fascist party. CnaP were a much wider church that never formed an alliance with the DUP, that never or were run by MI6.
 

ticketyboo

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I wonder if there are any people who eventually went on from Clann na Poblachta, which eventually folded, to PSF. Or did the CnP tradition die out entirely? CnP and PSF seem somewhat similar politically.

In particular, the last CnP TD was John Tully of Cavan. And then there is a PSF Councillor in Cavan, Pauline Tully, known as the victim of a stabbing by her husband (one of the murderers of Garda McCabe). Perhaps this is the same family?
No such thing as a PSF councillor...so I'll probably stop reading here.....
 

Man or Mouse

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I wonder if there are any people who eventually went on from Clann na Poblachta, which eventually folded, to PSF. Or did the CnP tradition die out entirely? CnP and PSF seem somewhat similar politically.

In particular, the last CnP TD was John Tully of Cavan. And then there is a PSF Councillor in Cavan, Pauline Tully, known as the victim of a stabbing by her husband (one of the murderers of Garda McCabe). Perhaps this is the same family?
No idea what the relative percentages might be, but some definitely drifted to FF.
 

O'Quisling

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I wonder if there are any people who eventually went on from Clann na Poblachta, which eventually folded, to PSF. Or did the CnP tradition die out entirely? CnP and PSF seem somewhat similar politically.

In particular, the last CnP TD was John Tully of Cavan. And then there is a PSF Councillor in Cavan, Pauline Tully, known as the victim of a stabbing by her husband (one of the murderers of Garda McCabe). Perhaps this is the same family?
Good question, batman!

It’s worth pointing out that often times the support base of a movement are broadly supportive of a particular political vision regardless of in-fighting of different factions that follow similar objectives. Everyday supporters are more “ecumenical” than the more committed members of the movement.

Example:
If I had a penny for every fella (aule fellas now, sorry) I met that voted for Provisional Sinn Fein in recent years who in the 70’s and 80’s would have voted for the Stickies (erstwhile rivals of the Provies) . . . . .well I’d have to go in to the Central Bank and change the pennies into euro coins.

Well-spotted on the name and possible connections, that never occurred to me.
However, Tully is a fairly common name throughout county Cavan, so it’s very likely they’re not related at all.

A point or two on John Tully:
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that he (or anybody else associated with that party) is automatically an Irish Republican. From talking to people who were one or two degrees of separation away from John Tully, I can honestly say there wasn’t a Fenian bone in his body. I wouldn’t go outright and say he was a carpetbagger; that may be a bit unfair. It might be more accurate to state that like many others he simply wanted to get into politics for personal ambitions. The start of a new party coinciding with him coming of age saw him decide to take advantage of this. What was the alternative? To join Fianna Fail would have seen him having to serve too long an “apprenticeship”, with no real guarantee of getting on the ticket, never mind getting elected. John never was in the IRA like many in “the Clan” (as CnaP was known as in the vernacular). He wasn’t a Gaeilgeoir and only ever had a passing interest in the GAA. He trained initially as an insurance agent, sat on the board of management of a national school, was a Peace Commissioner, and eventually his family went into accounting, real estate agency, and the big earner, law.

To answer your question
“Are any people who eventually went on from Clann na Poblachta to PSF?”
Yep they are similar. Fianna Fail have since the end of the 30’s been very vulnerable on their left flank. Both Clann na Poblachta from 1946 to 1957 (the real end, when McBride lost his seat) and Provisional Sinn Fein from the mid-90’s to the present themselves as something similar to FF but more in favour of re-distribution of the wealth.

The best example I have of someone who was associated with the two parties was Deasún Breathnach, who died 2007 aged 85 years old.

Like many more young people at the time in the immediate post-war period he was attracted to the energetic, leftish political force that was “the Clan”. Anecdotally I heard Deasún Breathnach (1921–2007) started out as a active supporter of CnaP. In the 70’s he was on the editorial board of An Phoblacht. He had a long life of political activism and I couldn’t do him justice here summarising it. He came from a Irish Republican family: Deasún Breathnach’s grandfather, James J. Walsh, was solicitor for two of the 5 accused members of the Irish Invincible Republican Brotherhood in the early 1880’s. That family tradition continued after Deasún with his children, most notably Osgur (who fell foul of the Garda Heavy Gang) and Lucilita. You may remember Lucilita Breathnach from the talks in the north in the mid-90s. When things started to knuckle down in the last 6 months or so of the Stormont Talks, George Mitchell cut the numbers of delegates down to a more workable number – proportionally across all the parties. The PSF delegation was reduced to 3: Gerry, Martin McG and Lucilita.
 

SuirView

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Go to bed.
 

MichaelR

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Good question, batman!
Thanks :)

It’s worth pointing out that often times the support base of a movement are broadly supportive of a particular political vision regardless of in-fighting of different factions that follow similar objectives. Everyday supporters are more “ecumenical” than the more committed members of the movement.
This particular similarity seemed obvious to me for a few years now, and I used to joke that an FG/SF coalition should be called "Third Inter-Party Government" (until the events after the last election appeared show this option as impossible). There was also an SF councillor on this forum in the old days, Rock of Cashel, whose last name was actually Browne, and though there was obviously no connection it made for a funnier parallel.

I would have no way to know how this similarity worked out in real life and I am really thankful to you and the other contributors (with the obvious exception) for the "bits and pieces" that can really only come from personal knowledge.
 

MichaelR

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I am skipping the comment I would normally have made, in deference to the Mods.

I did not have the slightest idea that the history of a party that has folded half a century ago would attract personal feuds. (I was ready for the mandatory sneer at the acronym "PSF", which was naturally forthcoming, but not for the rest of it).

Moreover, the reason I did not report this as it started is simply that I have other things to do and don't spend 24 hours regularly policing my own threads.
 


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