Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Fianna Fail organises in Northern Ireland

Today the Irish News reported the formation of a Fianna Fail branch in Fermanagh.  Among the Fianna Fail members are Gerry McHugh MLA, who was at one time a member of Sinn Fein, and Peter Quinn, a former president of the GAA.

We will now have to wait and see how many members of Sinn Fein or the SDLP decide to switch to Fianna Fail.

There is already a Fianna Fail branch at Queen's University, which is named after the Belfast radical William Drennan.  I referred to Drennan in an earlier post and noted that after the Act of Union he was reconciled to the union and became a unionist.  It is encouraging to see a Fianna Fail branch named in honour of a unionist!


  1. Two points Minister,
    1. no-where can I find evidence Drennan was a 'unionist', even his death and burial seems alien to such.
    2. Fianna Fail have been organising in northern Ireland since 1926, we have had Cumainn in Donegal, Sligo, Monaghan etc since these times, if you should like further information on our onward march please contact me.

  2. Mark - William Drennan was the editor of the Belfast Penny Magazine and in the edition of 31 December 1811 he wrote, 'Be Britons with all your souls - and forget that your Father called himself an Irishman.' I would suggest that those are hardly the words of an Irish nationalist.
    In 1891, the centenary of the formation of the United Irishmen, Irish nationalists tried to lay claim to William Drennan but they were rebuked by his son John Swanwick Drennan. The same happened again in 1897 and this time they were answered by Drennan's grand-daughter, Mrs Maria Duffin, who said of him, 'Dr Drennan was at first opposed to the Union but afterwards modified his view of it.'