Fianna Éireann

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The name Fianna Éireann (Irish pronunciation: [ˈfʲiənə ˈeːɾʲən]  ( listen)), also written Fianna na hÉireann and Na Fianna Éireann (Irish: "Soldiery of Ireland" or "Warriors' of Ireland", named after the mythological Fianna), has been used by various Irish republican youth movements throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. "Fianna na hEireann" [sic] is currently on the list of terrorist groups proscribed in the United Kingdom under the Terrorism Act (2000).[1][2] In the early '90s with the development of the Peace Process and Sinn Féin Youth, Fianna Éireann was eventually disbanded and replaced by Ógra Shinn Féin.[3]

Fianna Éireann, organised as a youth hurling league for boys and girls, existed in West Belfast, ca. 1903 (see Witness Statement of Bulmer Hobson to the Bureau of Military History, 1948). This was the brainchild of Bulmer Hobson (see Hobson's Statement to BMH), a committed IRB member. (Hobson's statemnt) Hobson relocated to Dublin and the organisation collapsed in Belfast. In Dublin, Hobson became acquainted with Constance Markiewicz, Helena Moloney and others, who were all members of the newly founded Sinn Féin. They were members of the Drumcondra branch. Hobson told Markievicz of his Belfast experiment and the seed was sown with her. With Helena Moloney and Sean McGarry, Markievicz and Hobson soon recreated a new Fianna Éireann. Prior to the setting up of Na Fianna in Dublin in 1909, it has now transpired that Lord Baden Powell had reportedly unsuccessfully sought the assistance of Patrick Pearse in setting up a branch of his Boy Scouts in Dublin. ("Talk History" radio programme, Newstalk Radio, 18 August 2009)

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