Organizations with historic links to Na Fianna:
– Ógra Shinn Féin / Sinn Féin Republican Youth
– Workers’ Party Youth
The above organizations are youth wings of Irish constitutional parties, Provisional Sinn Féin and the Workers’ Party respectively. Both have their roots in Na Fianna Éireann. After the 1969/1970 split in the Republican Movement. Na Fianna also split into provisional and official aligned organizations. The Official Fianna was active until 1976 when it was officially stood down as the Officials were going through a process striping themselves of Republican identity. Those in Na Fianna were then made members of the Irish Democratic Youth Movement, this was something that most of the Fianna resented. IDYM was a failure and was reformed in 1984 into Workers’ Party Youth.
Similarly, when another split occurred in 1986, Na Fianna again was split between those aligned to Republican Sinn Féin and the Provisionals. The Provisional aligned Fianna was later stood down in 1992. Ógra Shinn Féin was later founded in 1997.
Other Republican Youth Groups:
Irish Citizen Army Scouts
Youth wing of the Irish Citizen Army. Founded in 1914 by Countess Markievicz, Michael Mallin, and Seamus McGowan. Mostly made up of the sons of ICA and union members. More info here.
Clann na Gael Girl Scouts
The Clann na Gael Girl Scouts were founded in 1912 as the “Irish National Girl Scouts.” They changed their name in 1915 when they became affiliated with the Hibernian Rifles. They engaged in similar activities to na Fianna. They were mainly active in Dublin but had branches in Athlone, Cork, Tullamore, and Derry.
While they were founded as a simply nationalist organization, they grew increasingly Republican. Many of their members went on to join Cumann na mBán. Like na Fianna and Cumann na mBán, they opposed the treaty and were on the Republican side during the Civil War. They held vigils outside of Mountjoy Gaol in support of IRA prisoners on hunger strike in 1920. Members of Clann na Gael were even intended by the Free State Government.
Information is taken from Marnie Hay’s Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish Revolution, 1909-23: Scouting for Rebels, 2019.
Cumann na gCailíní
The Irish Republican Youth Movement for girls. Founded in the 1930s by Cumann na mBán.
The 1964 edition of the Fianna Handbook says the following:
CUMANN NA gCAILINI
Irish National Girl Scouts
Cumann na gCailini is a national organisation for girls which was formed in the early nineteen-thirties to fill the vacuum in the national movement. The denationalising materialistic rot, which was to manifest itself in later years, was showing alarming signs of life even at this early stage. The far-seeing Executive of Cumann na m Ban took the constructive step of launching this organisation which spread rapidly to the provinces.
The support and guidance of Cumann na mBan was responsible for success in the initial stages but the outbreak of the World War and subsequent diversification of the activities of the former, caused the Cailini to deteriorate in strength until constructive steps were taken in the mid-fifties to rebuild the organisation. Since then it has consolidated itself, standardised the uniform, and re-organised the branches in the cities. As the subsequent steps to re-organisation have been taken, present endeavour is concentrated on large scale expansion.
The organisation is similar to Na Fianna in its aims, objects and activities.
MEMBERSHIP: “Cumann na gCailini is open to all Irish girls over seven years of age, irrespective of class or creed.”
OBJECTS: “To foster in the minds of Irish girls a desire for the complete freedom of their country and a concern for the welfare of its people, that they may be prepared to take their place in a free and Gaelic Ireland.”
MEANS: “By educating them in the history, language and culture of their country and by practising the principles and exercises of scouting.”
If you wish to join, or help in any other way, please contact:
CUMANN NA gCAILINI, P.O. BOX 187, DUBLIN.
Patsy O’Hara Youth Movement / Republican Socialist Youth Movement
Founded in 1981 the POYM was the youth wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. It was active in the early 1980s, with claims to have had 100s of members in Belfast alone. It seems to have died out by the 1990s.
In 2005 young members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party revived the movement’s youth group and renamed it the Republican Socialist Youth Movement (RSYM).
Fianna na hÉireann
In 2004 young Republicans aligned to the 32 County Sovereignty Movement announced that they were reforming Na Fianna. While this group had no previous connection to NFÉ, they nevertheless claimed the legacy of na Fianna, though they slightly altered the name. They were not active for long. One of the key members of this group was Alan Ryan, who later became a (R)IRA volunteer and was tragically murdered in 2012
Youth wing of Irish Republican party Saoradh