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Clann na Poblachta


MichaelR

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Jun 1, 2006
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2,055
I'm not sure if this should be here or in History, the Moderators can move if forum choice was wrong.

As a possible FG-SF alliance and the comparison to 1948 are already up, I think it's time to ask this question. "Is it just me" or does SF (i.e. PSF) today somewhat resemble the original Clann na Poblachta? And also, where are the families and other direct traditions that formed CnaP back then - are some of them in SF?

From what I could gather, CnaP was a party that at the core was Republican, but accepted (at present) a constitutional settlement.

It was an aliance of strong Socialists and more "orthodox" Republicans.

It was headed by a former IRA Chief of Staff.

It has not completely repudiated violence and was connected with a violent movement in the North for quite some time (Liam Kelly / Fianna Uladh).

Seems to ring some bells. But then I realy don't know enough. Perhaps the comparison is misguided? If so I'd like to understand why.
 

popper

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Oct 4, 2004
Messages
297
MichaelR said:
I'm not sure if this should be here or in History, the Moderators can move if forum choice was wrong.

As a possible FG-SF alliance and the comparison to 1948 are already up, I think it's time to ask this question. "Is it just me" or does SF (i.e. PSF) today somewhat resemble the original Clann na Poblachta? And also, where are the families and other direct traditions that formed CnaP back then - are some of them in SF?

From what I could gather, CnaP was a party that at the core was Republican, but accepted (at present) a constitutional settlement.

It was an aliance of strong Socialists and more "orthodox" Republicans.

It was headed by a former IRA Chief of Staff.

It has not completely repudiated violence and was connected with a violent movement in the North for quite some time (Liam Kelly / Fianna Uladh).

Seems to ring some bells. But then I realy don't know enough. Perhaps the comparison is misguided? If so I'd like to understand why.

The socialist aspect to Clann was minimal. Most were IRA people looking to pay back FF for the executions and fed up of Sinn Féin claiming to be the Government! Major error was to enter coalition with FG. Had they not done so they might have become far stronger electorally.
 

Podolski

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Oct 10, 2006
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104
Well this definitely doesn't belong in the Sinn Féin forum. CnaP was a separate entity entirely. It was definitely populist rather than socialist.
 

Zyklon B

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Sep 13, 2007
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Noel Browne became a memeber of Labour but I wonder where the rest of their membership went?

Count Plunkett (amongst others) stood as a joint Sinn Féin-Clann na Poblachta I think in the 1930s...? So did they return to Sinn Féin? Or Fianna Fáil?
 

popper

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Oct 4, 2004
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Zyklon B said:
Noel Browne became a memeber of Labour but I wonder where the rest of their membership went?

Count Plunkett (amongst others) stood as a joint Sinn Féin-Clann na Poblachta I think in the 1930s...? So did they return to Sinn Féin? Or Fianna Fáil?

Plunkett stood for Coras na Poblachta which was a kind of percusor to the Clann although directly under control of IRA. Peadar Cowan ended up in Labour with Browne via National Progressive Democrats as did Jack McQuillan. Most of the others drifted away but voters probably mainly went back to FF.
 

Nem

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Oct 11, 2007
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Yeah, I always thought it was more of a precursor to Labour?
 

popper

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297
Nem said:
Yeah, I always thought it was more of a precursor to Labour?

Labour were there before Clann and their vote was largely unaffected by Clann. Only effect was that Browne, Cowan and McQuillan ended up in Labour after other ventures including Fianna Fáil!. Labour, then as now, had minimal appeal to radical republicans.
 

Riadach

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Feb 9, 2007
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Zyklon B said:
Noel Browne became a memeber of Labour but I wonder where the rest of their membership went?

Count Plunkett (amongst others) stood as a joint Sinn Féin-Clann na Poblachta I think in the 1930s...? So did they return to Sinn Féin? Or Fianna Fáil?
If I recall correctly, Noel Browne was a bit of a political whore, being affiliated to numerous different parties and standing as an independent. He was also involved in trying to set up a 'national progressive democrats' and a 'socialist labour party'.
 

owenfeehan

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Jun 4, 2005
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From a book I'm reading at the moment about the history of Labour (The Irish Labour Part 1922-74, Niamh Puirséil) it makes some points about Browne and his relationship to the party [if I recall these points correctly].

Apparently Browne considered Labour his natural home, but chose Clann Na Poblachta because he felt that Labour was, in effect, a working class party not very open to professional-class persons in their ranks.

It also suggests that, although not known at the time, that he privately applied to join Labour at some point after the mother & child scheme failure, but that Labour rejected him, presumably because of antipathy felt by him by senior members of the Parliamentary Labour Party. It is believe they were unimpressed with his handling of the mother & child affair (believing him to have jeopordised the substantive policy goal by doing a unilateral solo run against the church).

Having being rejected by Labour, and having being an independent supporting the FF government from the backbanches, he first made an abortive attempt to set up a new left wing party, and then joined Fianna Fail.
 

popper

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Riadach said:
Zyklon B said:
Noel Browne became a memeber of Labour but I wonder where the rest of their membership went?

Count Plunkett (amongst others) stood as a joint Sinn Féin-Clann na Poblachta I think in the 1930s...? So did they return to Sinn Féin? Or Fianna Fáil?
If I recall correctly, Noel Browne was a bit of a political whore, being affiliated to numerous different parties and standing as an independent. He was also involved in trying to set up a 'national progressive democrats' and a 'socialist labour party'.

He was a member of Clann na Poblachta, Fianna Fáil, Labour and was part founder of two other parties the National Progressive Democrats and Socialist Labour Party. Left every one of them, preferably by trying to destroy them! As he succeeded by and large with the Clann, NPD and SLP. A very inconsistent and erratic character. Went from being very republican in 50s and 60s to something worse than the Cruiser at one stage. Likewise swung at various stages between rabid Stalinism and being anti-Soviet. Apparently he was the same personally. You were his best friend one day and the worst c*nt ever to stand up in shoes the next! Know a few people who knew him over the years and they don't have a high opinion of him. But then he didn't need anyone else to have a high opinion of him!!
 

Wolverine

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It also suggests that, although not known at the time, that he privately applied to join Labour at some point after the mother & child scheme failure, but that Labour rejected him, presumably because of antipathy felt by him by senior members of the Parliamentary Labour Party. It is believe they were unimpressed with his handling of the mother & child affair (believing him to have jeopordised the substantive policy goal by doing a unilateral solo run against the church).
That's a fair point, although his publication of the letters sent to him by McQuaid did help shine some welcome light on church state relations at the time. It could be said that the defeat of the Mother and Child Scheme marked the high water mark for church influence on politics in Ireland, and after that it was slow but steady decline.
 

popper

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Wolverine said:
It also suggests that, although not known at the time, that he privately applied to join Labour at some point after the mother & child scheme failure, but that Labour rejected him, presumably because of antipathy felt by him by senior members of the Parliamentary Labour Party. It is believe they were unimpressed with his handling of the mother & child affair (believing him to have jeopordised the substantive policy goal by doing a unilateral solo run against the church).
That's a fair point, although his publication of the letters sent to him by McQuaid did help shine some welcome light on church state relations at the time. It could be said that the defeat of the Mother and Child Scheme marked the high water mark for church influence on politics in Ireland, and after that it was slow but steady decline.
Doctors had more to do with opposing it than the Church and they're still going strong!
 

Wolverine

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Doctors had more to do with opposing it than the Church and they're still going strong!
The bas*ards. Still, you have a point, it wasn't just the Church opposition, although when they weighed in it was the end for the plan, more's the pity.
 

popper

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Oct 4, 2004
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Wolverine said:
Doctors had more to do with opposing it than the Church and they're still going strong!
The bas*ards. Still, you have a point, it wasn't just the Church opposition, although when they weighed in it was the end for the plan, more's the pity.

No coincidence either that there were close personal and family connections between leading clerics and the doctors. May have played no small part in the former discovering moral objections to the scheme! Same group had huge clout with the Blueshirts for similar social reasons.

The way FF handled the whole thing - and it was originally their proposal - was interesting. They avoided public controversy and then when they returned to power basically told McQuaid and the doctors to go fk themselves, they were doing it anyway. Walk softly and carry a big stick I suppose is the motto there.
 

Inishowen

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Oct 5, 2006
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I think you're right on this one Popper, the medical profession are still by and large a self-serving elite purporting to police themselves and acting in accordance with their hippocratic oath rather than filthy lucre like lesser human beings. And dont get me going on that other shower of leeches - barristers.

BTW I think one of the reasons Browne was first rejected by Labour was because he wasnt a trade union member. AFAIK union membership was a prerequisite for membership of the Labour party until the early 60s - perhaps someone could clarify this????
 

popper

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I'd imagine the reason Labour rejected him was they thought he was some sort of red! Labour were absolutely terrified of the bishops - far more so than Fianna Fáil and played an extremely craven role in the Mother and Child Scheme contrary to whatever myths they delude themselves with these days in regard to "Making Ireland Modern" :lol:
 

Zyklon B

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MichaelR said:
But then I realy don't know enough. Perhaps the comparison is misguided? If so I'd like to understand why.
Sinn Féin today more closely resemble the Workers' Party rather than Clann na Poblachta, although all three are in the tradition of fringe left parties that appear periodically in Irish politics for awhile. Whether they be the:
  • Democratic Socialist Party
    National Progressive Democrats
    Republican Congress
    Irish Workers' Party
    Irish Workers' League
    Socialist Party
    BICO
    CPI...etc
...they never last long. Usually they end up in coalition or they split and ultimately fail to garner popular mass support. There probably will always be a niche for these groups, but not a role in leading Ireland. Sorry folks, no revolution! Eventually, after adolescence they join the Labour party, itself just half-a-party!! :D
 

Keith-M

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www.allkindsofeverything.ie
Zyklon B said:
MichaelR said:
But then I realy don't know enough. Perhaps the comparison is misguided? If so I'd like to understand why.
Sinn Féin today more closely resemble the Workers' Party rather than Clann na Poblachta, although all three are in the tradition of fringe left parties that appear periodically in Irish politics for awhile. Whether they be the:
  • Democratic Socialist Party
    National Progressive Democrats
    Republican Congress
    Irish Workers' Party
    Irish Workers' League
    Socialist Party
    BICO
    CPI...etc
...they never last long. Usually they end up in coalition or they split and ultimately fail to garner popular mass support. There probably will always be a niche for these groups, but not a role in leading Ireland. Sorry folks, no revolution! Eventually, after adolescence they join the Labour party, itself just half-a-party!! :D
Don't forget Democratic Left. Sinn Féin is basically Official Sinn Fein (now the WP) for slow learners.
 

RahenyFG

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The socialist aspect to Clann was minimal. Most were IRA people looking to pay back FF for the executions and fed up of Sinn Féin claiming to be the Government! Major error was to enter coalition with FG. Had they not done so they might have become far stronger electorally.
Quite true. Clann na Poblachta's potential success was impeded by three things, the snap election called De Valera which meant the party didn't have time to prepare it's organisation thus the party won fewer seats than expected, going into coalition with differently aligned parties hurt the party's republican vote while the gerrymandering by De Valera meant the party won less seats than it should.

The course of Irish politics might have been different if the above three didn't go against Clann na Poblachta.
 
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