In August 2014 the County Roscommon IRA Commemoration Committee, of which Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was chairperson for many years, established the Ruairí Ó Brádaigh Memorial Fund. The objective of this fund is to erect a statue in memory of Ruairí as a lasting tribute. The date for the unveiling is Easter 2016. This statue will stand next to the Shankill Monument in Elphin, County Roscommon.
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was 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.
Since the 1950s he served at every level of the Republican Movement, and from 1956 took on the onerous responsibilities of national leadership, with only a short interval, up until his death in 2013.
Ruairí was a man of immense capability both as a politician and as a soldier. He holds the
unique distinction of serving as President of Sinn Féin, Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army and from 1957 to 1961 as a TD, representing Longford/Westmeath.
At critical junctures in the history of the Republican Movement, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, along with his close friend and comrade, the late Dáithí Ó Conaill, manned the gap against the forces of reformism who sought to convert a revolutionary movement of national liberation into a mere constitutional political party, first in 1969/70 and once again in 1986.
For Ruairí the essential principles of Irish freedom were clear and marked the political course to be followed. He dismissed any cult of the personality.
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was a tireless champion of the Irish language viewing it as the cornerstone of our unique identity as a nation. Like Pádraig Mac Piarais he believed in an Ireland that was not only free but Gaelic as well; not only Gaelic but free as well.
He played a leading role in formulating the ÉIRE NUA proposals for a four-province Federal Ireland, which was based on the principles of true decentralisation of decision-making with full participatory democracy involving all sections of the Irish people as trust founders of a New
Ireland. He was among the Republican leaders who met representatives of loyalism and unionism at Feakle, Co Clare in 1974 and later strongly supported the MacBride/Boal talks.
For Ruairí Ó Brádaigh there could be no temporising on the issue of British rule in Ireland.
Drawing on the lessons of Irish history he recognised that it constituted the root cause of conflict and injustice for the Irish people. In opposing the 1998 Stormont Agreement he viewed it as a flawed document serving only to copper-fasten British Rule while also institutionalising sectarianism, thereby further deepening the sectarian divide. The economically and politically oppressed and partitioned Ireland of today is far removed from the vision of a New Ireland, which inspired Irish Republicans such as Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.
In order to raise the much needed finances to pay for the costs of erecting such a testament to Ruairí, Republican Sinn Féin working with the Commemoration Committee is calling on all supporters of the Republican Movement to lend their support to the fund. All donations will be receipted and greatly appreciated.
Send Donations To:
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh Memorial,
c/o 223 Sráid Pharnell,
BÁC 1, Éire
(223 Parnell Street,
Dublin 1, Ireland).