Conservatism of Cumann na Gaedhael- who here is proud of them?

DJP

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I have been thinking about it and I think the national post-colonial inferiority complex in Ireland goes directly back to the Cumann na nGaedhaels Governments up until 1932. The Cumann na nGaedhael Governments were about as radical in Government as the Irish Parliamentary Party could have expected to have been. It is no wonder when de Valera started Fianna Fáil and took part in elections that Fianna Fáil soon became by far the largest and most popular party in Ireland.

The conservatism of Cumann na nGaedael in the 1920's bore no similarity to the radicalism of Sinn Féin up until the Civil War.

So I think that an Irish person (they would generally be in Fine Gael) proud of the Cumann na nGaedhael Governments up until 1932 should really have a second think about what they actually achieved.

I know things would have been a lot different if Michael Collins had have lived, but he didn't and I wouldn't be surprised also if he himself would turn in his grave to look at the Free State administration in the 1920's. I don't think that today Fine Gael should be blamed for Cumann na nGaedhael administrations starting in 1922 but I think that it is worth being aware that the Cumann na nGaedhael Governments chose conservatism over radicalism and there was nothing distincly gaelic about them apart from their name compared to Sinn Féin which had existed up until the Civil War. Indeed I find it extremely hard to get to grips with the fact that Cumann na nGaedhael came out of Sinn Féin.

I would be interested in hearing what Fine Gael members on this site have to say about the Cumann na nGaedhael Governments up until 1932. I think that Fine Gael should be about as proud of the first two Cumann na nGaeldhael Governments as they are of the Blueshirts.
 


ocoonassa

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The conservatism of Cumann na nGaedael in the 1920's bore no similarity to the radicalism of Sinn Féin up until the Civil War.
Weren't the Shinners Home Rulers and Monarchists for most of the time from 1905? Hardly sound very radical to me. How involved were they with the Easter Rising do you know?
 

DJP

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Weren't the Shinners Home Rulers and Monarchists for most of the time from 1905? Hardly sound very radical to me. How involved were they with the Easter Rising do you know?
During the Tan War or War of Independence or whatever you choose to call it Sinn Féin set up our own courts system in Ireland. Sinn Féin after the Easter Rising and up until the Civil War were a broad republican and radical organisation. Conradh na Gaeilge was also very republican. There was nothing radical or republican about the Cumann na nGaedhael Governments.
 

ocoonassa

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Sinn Féin after the Easter Rising and up until the Civil War were a broad republican and radical organisation.
How did that come about I wonder. That an insignificant and largely ignored and non republican organisation that had nothing to do with the Rising came to be in such a powerful position?
 

DJP

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How did that come about I wonder. That an insignificant and largely ignored and non republican organisation that had nothing to do with the Rising came to be in such a powerful position?
From what I know I believe the British called the Rising a "Sinn Féin rising" and then their ranks quickly soared and they became a radical republican organisation.
 

White Horse

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I would be interested in hearing what Fine Gael members on this site have to say about the Cumann na nGaedhael Governments up until 1932. I think that Fine Gael should be about as proud of the first two Cumann na nGaeldhael Governments as they are of the Blueshirts.
A very strange question to ask.

Is the creation of a stable democracy and an unarmed and respected police in a war torn country not enough to be proud of?

I could go on and talk about infrasture reconstruction and electrification. All done without external financial assistence.

Your posts get more bizarre by the day.

Are you going through a mid-life political crisis?
 

True Republican

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During the Tan War or War of Independence or whatever you choose to call it Sinn Féin set up our own courts system in Ireland. Sinn Féin after the Easter Rising and up until the Civil War were a broad republican and radical organisation. Conradh na Gaeilge was also very republican. There was nothing radical or republican about the Cumann na nGaedhael Governments.
There has been nothing Republican about FF governments either, its not just CnaG/FG governments that have a long and shameful anti Republican history, FF have nothing to be proud of when it comes to reuniting the Island.
 

DJP

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A very strange question to ask.

Is the creation of a stable democracy and an unarmed and respected police in a war torn country not enough to be proud of?

I could go on and talk about infrasture reconstruction and electrification. All done without external financial assistence.

Your posts get more bizarre by the day.

Are you going through a mid-life political crisis?
The British also carried out some good work in the years before independence. That doesn't mean that I liked the way that they ruled our country. Cumann na nGaedhael I suppose did some good things, like Fianna Fáil are doing now, but that doesn't mean that they were good overall. The civil service we had under the British remained largely the same.
 

ocoonassa

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From what I know I believe the British called the Rising a "Sinn Féin rising" and then their ranks quickly soared and they became a radical republican organisation.
Why ever would the British do such an unusual thing I wonder?
 

DJP

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Why ever would the British do such an unusual thing I wonder?
It shows you how detached they were from average Irish people most of whom were poor.
 

trekkypj

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Something that people may not have known:

The Irish governments from 1922 onwards were required to balance their budgets, and spent accordingly. It sometimes caused problems, but in the context of the current issues, the fact that they showed fiscal restraint and managed to run the country on a low tax base without borrowing for day to day needs is a noteworthy achievement.

Though to be fair this policy continued for some years after CnaG lost in '32.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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A very strange question to ask.

Is the creation of a stable democracy and an unarmed and respected police in a war torn country not enough to be proud of?

I could go on and talk about infrasture reconstruction and electrification. All done without external financial assistence.

Your posts get more bizarre by the day.

Are you going through a mid-life political crisis?
Cumann na nGaeldhael peacefully handed over power to De Valera and FF to insure democracy in Ireland for this alone they shold be commended.

Even De Valera is on record of in the words of his son Vivian of saying "They had everything perfect, absolutly perfect" when refering to the administration of government departments, a strong complement from their fromer enemy on the field of battle.
 

ocoonassa

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It shows you how detached they were from average Irish people most of whom were poor.
Perhaps but I didn't mean to ask what it showed about them or the average Irish people who had nothing to do with the Shinners. I meant to ask why you think they would or could have made such a mistake? I mean did they not have spooks all over the place who advised them how the land lay?
 

redpaddy69

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However much I would have loved to have brought down the CnaG government if I were around at the time, I have to hand it to them that they did manage to complete what they set out to do. They managed to stabilize the Free State and impose a legal system. In a country of divided loyalties the guards more or less took control. They managed to reduce not only the republican threat but also a criminal aspect that crept through the Free State circa 1923 (something like 200 armed robberies in 1923).

However saying that their economic and social conservatism ensured that the Free State missed out on a chance to revert the poverty imposed by the British for generations.
 

DJP

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Don't get me wrong Fianna Fáil were conservative also by and large when they got into power and I believe the relationship de Valera has with the Catholic Church was destructive. I have been reading a book on Irish Social Policy- or rather the lack of it- since independence and the country really was a basket case on it for decades. De Valera aspired to the country being gaelic though or a lot more so. I wouldn't have bought into his vision overall but at least he had a gaelic vision. And it was de Valera who dismantled The Anglo-Irish Treaty!
 

Edo

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Darren

Im not quite sure where you are coming from , apart from trying to wind up FG supporters with the usual "West Brit" nonsense.

You seem to be under serious delusions about the composition of Sinn Fein and what the organisation actually was and how it changed post 1916.

The 1916 rising was and how the British dealth with the aftermath of this is crucial -

Sinn Fein was started in 1905 by Arthur Griffith with the initial aim of gaining Ireland a national legislature in the British Empire based on the Austro-hungarian Empire example of Hungary having its own parliament and set-up seperate - but equal to the Austrians . It did alright for the first couple of years - getting 27% or so in a byelection - but by 1910/1911 it was on its knees and nearly defunct - the home rule crisis revived it to an extent and it intermingled with the 2 other main nationalist movements at the time , the Irish Volunteers who stayed at home while Redmonds lot went off to France, and the IRB - in fact many were members of all 3. thing to remember here is that Sinn Fein were doing nothing radical at the time.

Sinn Fein as an organisation had feck all to do with the 1916 Rising - but the British media latched on to Sinn Fein as a label - my great grandfather was the IRB head activist in the South East and was not a member of Sinn Fein which was primarily a Dublin based organisation - yet I have the front page of the Daily Telegraph from Wednesday Easter week 1916 with a picture of my GG Father and other IRB activists who were picked up around the country and brought to Kilmainham before shipment to British Jails and the byline on the picture is "Sinn Fein prisoners in Kilmainham".

So - really by complete accident in a way - Sinn Fein became the umbrella underwhich all nationalist organisations coalested in 1917 as detainess came back from Frongoch and other British jails and others joined up - the only aim in common with all was independence from Britain - political ideology played a very small part in it - the democratic programme was thrown in as a sop to the Labour party to get them to play ball. it was an uneasy coalition that was only destined to last as long as there was a unified goal in getting the British to leave - sure they set up their own courts etc etc - that is classic guerrilla warfare in making the occupying structures obsolete and irrelevant - but it was hardly radical in the way you are desperately trying to imply. Also you are forgetting the demographic that many of the volunteers like Collins,Lemass,Devalera, Cathal Brugha and the rest were coming from - they were not social radicals - the land reforms started in the 1870s which saw the breaking up of the great estates and establishment of a solid peasant yeomanry on the ground and the Catholic churches position as the repository of the Irish nationalist soul for many ensured that this would be a "revolution" more like the American War of Independence as opposed to the French or soviet revolutions. Most of the country just wanted to change the name over the door - but they were quite happy with the furniture already there - after finally getting their hands on the land in the preceding 40 years or so - the vast majority of the Irish catholic rural population were in no mood to have it all whipped away in the cause of revolution.

Looking at like this - it is no surprise that the C na G Goverments that succeeded the civil war were as conservative (to our eyes now) as they were - and that Fianna Fail didnt exactly cause a revolution either when they assumed power in 1932 . Ireland/Irish Free State was a conservative rural society in 1920s and 1930s - and those Prevailing mores of the vast majority of the population dictated that.

Thus the C na G government biggest concern was to consolidate what had been won in 1921 and ensure that none of the big powers - particularly Britain would have cause to invade again - that meant no bolsheviks - which in the end was a dead letter because with the exception of small groups in Dublin and other urban areas there were no revolutionary groups worth the name to speak of - most of the population were god fearing conservative catholics - a catholic country for a catholic people.

As a member of FG - I look back at that time and all I can really say is that CnaG ensured that there would be a independent democratic state to pass on - the first 10 years were about survival nothing else and they succeeded in getting nearly everybody else into the democratic tent as well slowly and steadly laying the ground in state support for industry that Fianna Fail were able to build on, passing on a balanced set of books with good international credit that Fianna Fail were able to build on, and with the Statue of Westminister and joining the league of nations gave DeValera the framework and the leeway to put his own version of Ireland into action. Most importantly - when they lost the election in 1932 - they handed over power to the victors and ensiured the survival of democracy - if Devalera had acted faster over the IRA thugs who had been released by his government and were disrupting Fine Gael meetings and gatherings - the blueshirts would probably never have come into being either.

Yes they were a boring conservative government to our eyes now - but they ensured the survival of an independent Irish state and they were representative of a great many members of Sinn Fein 1916-1922 - who were conservative law abiding catholics themselves - they didn't want a revolution -they wanted an independent Ireland.
 

True Republican

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Don't get me wrong Fianna Fáil were conservative also by and large when they got into power and I believe the relationship de Valera has with the Catholic Church was destructive. I have been reading a book on Irish Social Policy- or rather the lack of it- since independence and the country really was a basket case on it for decades. De Valera aspired to the country being gaelic though or a lot more so. I wouldn't have bought into his vision overall but at least he had a gaelic vision. And it was de Valera who dismantled The Anglo-Irish Treaty!
Devalera also executed more Republicans than the Stormont unionist government did during WW2, FF should be calling themselves Fianna Fail- The Partitionist Party.
 

ocoonassa

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Sinn Fein as an organisation had feck all to do with the 1916 Rising - but the British media latched on to Sinn Fein as a label
So - really by complete accident in a way - Sinn Fein became the umbrella underwhich all nationalist organisations coalested
I am interested in the genesis of this 'complete accident' and how it came about; that the British and I presume Irish media outlets all came to make the same mistake. It strikes me as odd, how did the media come to be making the association I wonder?
 

DJP

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Darren

Im not quite sure where you are coming from , apart from trying to wind up FG supporters with the usual "West Brit" nonsense.


Yes they were a boring conservative government to our eyes now - but they ensured the survival of an independent Irish state and they were representative of a great many members of Sinn Fein 1916-1922 - who were conservative law abiding catholics themselves - they didn't want a revolution -they wanted an independent Ireland.
They didn't seem to want a 32 county republic. They were happy with their 26 county Free State seemingly.

And I was in FG. I am not calling the party "West Brits". Cumann na nGaedhael failed. And then FG was formed. I would identify more with FG than FF today. I believe that neither party has been great on the national question of unification but I believe that traditionally FF have been better. At least that is what most northern nationalists think. Things are changing though.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Devalera also executed more Republicans than the Stormont unionist government did during WW2, FF should be calling themselves Fianna Fail- The Partitionist Party.
Nothing wrong with partitionism and when the day comes if ever there is a vote on reunification it may be a lot harder to get through than some people think.

As for executing those who wanted to bring the Nazis in Ireland I would have to side with FF.
 


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