Former republican leader passes away
The death has occurred of the former Longford/Westmeath TD and republican leader Ruairí O’Bradaigh.
The 80-year old, who had been suffering from ill-health in recent times, passed away in Roscommon County Hospital on Wednesday.
A former chief-of-staff of the IRA in the 1950s, Mr O’Bradaigh was one of the most uncompromising republican hardliners in recent decades, opposing the Good Friday Agreement and devolution in Northern Ireland. He regarded power-sharing in the north as a total betrayal of pure Republicanism, which committed to a refusal to participate in democratic politics until the formation of a united Ireland.
A native of Longford town, Mr O’Bradaigh was TD for the Longford/Westmeath constituency from 1957 to 1961. He founded Provisional Sinn Féin in 1970 and Republican Sinn Féin following a split within the IRA in 1986. The latter organisation was the political wing of the Continuity IRA.
Des Dalton, his successor as president of Republican Sinn Féin, the party he founded in 1986, eulogised him as “a towering figure of Irish Republicanism in the latter half of the 20th century”.
“He came to embody the very essence of the Republican tradition, setting the very highest standards of commitment, duty, honour and loyalty to the cause of Irish freedom,” concluded Mr Dalton.