Commemorating Ireland's former chief of Staff of Óglaigh na hÉireann,Seán MacBride.
LifeTime ERA: Born 1904...Died 1988
Paris Born to Two Famous Irish People and 1974 Nobel Peace Prize Winner: Seán MacBride was born in Paris in 1904 to famous Irishwoman, Maud Gonne and Irish Patriot, Major John MacBride, who was executed for his role in the 1916 Dublin Easter Rising. It was the patriots son,Seán, who joined the Irish Volunteers aged 15, in 1919. He fought in the infamous Black and Tan War and was also interned during the Civil War.
Seán MacBride was an Irish Clann na Poblachta politician who served as Minister for External Affairs from 1948 to 1951, Leader of Clann na Poblachta from 1946 to 1965 and Chief of Staff of the IRA from 1936 to 1937. He served as a Teachta Dála from 1947 to 1957. His father,John MacBride was an Irish republican and military leader and was executed by the British government for his participation in the 1916 Dublin Easter Rising.
[John MacBride; Irish Patriot & Maud Gonne MacBride; Famous Daughter Of Ireland, parents of Seán MacBride]
Seán MacBride, Former Minister For External Affairs
In 1925 Seán MacBride married Catalina "Kid" Bulfin and in 1927 he became Director of Intelligence for the Irish Republican Army. In the conflict that followed, Seán MacBride, despite proving his innocence, he was interned for the killing of Minister Kevin O'Higgins, in the Civil War and in 1931 he helped launch the unsuccessful political party, Saor Éire and in 1936 be became Chief of Staff for a short period. In 1937 he resigned from Óglaigh na hÉireann, as he felt the new Irish constitution was a framework that could be worked within for the greater benefit of Irish citizens.
Unlike some however, Seán MacBride did not turn on his former comrades and defended them in court throughout the next decade, desperately defending McGrath, Harte, Kerins and O'Neill to no avail. He had success in some matters related to internment however. After the death of Seán McCaughey, he exposed the barbarous conditions at Portlaoise Prison, but found no favour at Dáil Éireann amongst government deputies.
In 1946 he formed Clann na Poblachta, a new Republican political party, aimed at supplanting Fianna Fáil, but again De Valera called an early election in 1948 to quell it's expansion. Seán then joined government in the ranks of Fine Gael and Labour coalition as the only way to remove the murderers of Kerins and his comrades. The Government soon fell. In a major development, he opposed internment of IRA Volunteers during the 1956-62 difficult border campaign.
He was elected to the chair of Amnesty international from 1961-75 and took a great role in international affairs, winning both the Nobel and Lenin peace prizes. (One of only two to ever do so) and in 1984 he drew up the MacBride principles on Catholic rights in the six counties, which form a key part of US dealings with companies there.
Seán MacBride was an Irishman, who unlike many of his political contemporaries of the time, was not controlled by the lust of securing financial sanctity through political business. He was a proud Irishman, who despite exiting the Irish Republican Army, believed in the ethos of a free and united 32 county Ireland. Ireland's 21st century politicians would not subscribe to the MacBride ethos, as the current ambitions of politicians is financially driven and proud to be Irish, is nowhere on the agenda.
In our Induction of Seán MabBride as a Famous Son Of Ireland at Irish Heritage Hall Of Fame, he has been one of Ireland's many Unheralded Statesmen and we welcome the incorporation of an anglo Irishman to our collection.
Editorial by Derry JF Doody