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Land and RevolutionNationalist Politics in the West of Ireland 1891-1921$
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Fergus Campbell

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273249.001.0001

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The Evolution of Sinn Féin: Separatist Politics in County Galway, 1905–1918

The Evolution of Sinn Féin: Separatist Politics in County Galway, 1905–1918

(p.166) 5 The Evolution of Sinn Féin: Separatist Politics in County Galway, 1905–1918
Land and Revolution

Fergus Campbell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the evolution of separatist politics in county Galway, from the formation of Sinn Féin in 1905, to its electoral victory in December 1918, and includes the first detailed narrative account of the 1916 Easter Rising in Galway. The small Sinn Féin party, first established in Galway in 1906, had become the largest and most influential political organization in the county by 1918; the most prominent leader of Sinn Féin in Galway was Tom Kenny, the Craughwell blacksmith. The evidence presented in this chapter suggests that it may not have been possible to apply all aspects of Fitzpatrick's Clare model to neighbouring Galway. Far from being established on the basis of the ‘Home Rule tradition’, Sinn Féin emerged from the radical agrarian and republican political culture of Kenny's secret society. This chapter also suggests that the personnel of Sinn Féin in Galway were not, by and large, the old Home Rule wine decanted into new bottles.

Keywords:   Sinn Féin, Ireland, Easter Rising, Tom Kenny, Galway, political party

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