Éistígí, The Youth Wing Of Saoradh

AN SIONNACH FIONN

Éistígí or “Listen”*, is the teenage wing of the minor Irish republican party, Saoradh. It sometimes uses the sobriquet Republican Youth, which is the same name as the equivalent body associated with Sinn Féin. Internationally, there is a long history of political parties having separate organisations for young people, though few can boast of the revolutionary roots that groups in Ireland can point to. In this context, the original template was the early 20th century scouting body, the Fianna Éireann, a nationalist grouping largely for a male membership though the Belfast branch, the Betsy Gray Slua, was all-female. The organisation was purposefully militant in nature, many members passing on to the ranks of the Irish Republican Army or other insurgent bodies.

However, by the late 1980s most fringe republican parties in Ireland had adapted to the country’s mainstream political conventions, de-emphasising or eliminating the quasi-militarist veneer of their youth wings…

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