List of Irish Republican Army chiefs of staff

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The following is the list of those who are reported to have served as Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army in the various incarnations of organisations bearing that name. Due to the clandestine nature of these organisations, this list is not definitive.

Chiefs of Staff of the Irish Republican Army (1917–1922)[edit]

No. Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
1 Cathal Brugha (Chairman of the Resident Executive) 27 October 1917 March 1919 [1]
2 Richard Mulcahy March 1919 15 January 1922 [2]
3 Eoin O'Duffy 15 January 1922 July 1922 [2]

Chiefs of Staff of the (anti-Treaty) Irish Republican Army (1922–1969)[edit]

No. Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
Liam Lynch (1st time) 26 March 1922 18 June 1922 [3]
Joe McKelvey 18 June 1922 30 June 1922 [4]
Liam Lynch (2nd time) 30 June 1922 10 April 1923
Frank Aiken 20 April 1923 12 November 1925 [5]
Andrew Cooney 12 November 1925 July 1926 [6]
Moss (Maurice) Twomey 1926 (acting), 1927 (official) June 1936 [7]
Seán MacBride June 1936 late 1936 [8]
Tom Barry 1937 1937 [3]
Mick Fitzpatrick 1937 1938 [7]
Seán Russell 1938 14 August 1940 [9]
Stephen Hayes 1940? 30 June 1941 [10]
Pearse Kelly (aka Paul Kelso) 1941 27 November 1941
Seán Harrington Aft. November 1941 February 1942
Seán McCool February 1942 14 August 1942
Eoin McNamee 1942 1942
Hugh McAteer 1942 12 October 1942
Charlie Kerins October 1942 16 June 1944
Position vacant for some months 16 June 1944
Harry White 1944 1945
Patrick Fleming 1 March 1945 1947? [11]
Willie McGuinness 1947 1948? [12]
Tony Magan (1st time) November 1948 6 July 1957 [13]
Richard Burke January 1957 May 1957 [14]
Tony Magan (2nd time) May 1957 6 July 1957 [15]
Seán Cronin (1st time) July 1957 (acting), 11 November 1957 (official) October 1958 [16]
John Joe McGirl October 1958 24 October 1958 [17]
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (1st time) 24 October 1958 Late May 1959 [18]
Seán Cronin (2nd time) Late May 1959 June 1960 [19]
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (2nd time) Summer 1960 7 September 1962 [20]
Cathal Goulding 7 September 1962 December 1969 [21]

At an IRA Special Army Convention (SAC) held in Dublin on 28 December 1969, the IRA split into two factions, namely the majority Official IRA and the minority Provisional IRA.

Chiefs of Staff of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (1969–2005)[edit]

No. Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
Seán Mac Stíofáin December 1969 19 November 1972 [22]
Joe Cahill November 1972 March 1973 [23]
Seamus Twomey (1st time) March 1973 June 1973 [23]
Éamonn O'Doherty June 1973 June/July 1974 [24]
Seamus Twomey (2nd time) June/July 1974 December 1977 [23]
Gerry Adams[a] 3 December 1977 18 February 1978 [25][26][27][28][29]
Martin McGuinness[b] 1978 Autumn 1982 [23]
Ivor Bell Autumn 1982 September 1983 [23]
Kevin McKenna September 1983 October 1997 [23]
Thomas "Slab" Murphy October 1997 2005 (PIRA dissarmed) [23]

a. ^ Some noted Irish and British historians, including Ed Moloney, author of A Secret History of the IRA, have claimed that Gerry Adams has been part of the IRA leadership. Adams has always denied IRA membership, let alone being chief of staff.[30] b. ^ Although he has admitted to IRA membership he has denied ever being Chief of Staff

Chiefs of Staff of the Official Irish Republican Army (1969–present)[edit]

No. Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
Cathal Goulding December 1969 1972
Seán Garland 1998 [31]

Chiefs of Staff of the Continuity Irish Republican Army (1986–present)[edit]

No. Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
Dáithí Ó Conaill 1986 1991 [32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aengus Ó Snodaigh, "IRA Convention meets", An Phoblacht/Republican News, 11 May 2000.
  2. ^ a b Maryann Gialanella V, Portrait of a Revolutionary. General Richard Mulcahy and the Founding of the Irish Free State, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8131-1791-7
  3. ^ a b Meda Ryan, The Real Chief: Liam Lynch, Cork: Mercier, 2005. ISBN 1-85635-460-1
  4. ^ Paul V. Walsh, The Irish Civil War, 1922-1923
  5. ^ Henry Boylan, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1998.
  6. ^ "Student Radicals", in: High Ball, February 2002.
  7. ^ a b Brian Hanley, The IRA: 1926-36, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2002. ISBN 1-85182-721-8
  8. ^ Seán MacBride That Day's Struggle. A Memoir, ed. Caitríona Lawlor, Dublin: Currach Press, 2005. ISBN 1-85607-929-5
  9. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997. ISBN 1-56000-901-2
  10. ^ Dáil Debates, 7 July 1943.
  11. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997. ISBN 1-56000-901-2
  12. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997. ISBN 1-56000-901-2. See also "Bodenstown: IRA GHQ reorganised", Saoirse, June 1997.
  13. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997.
  14. ^ "Arrests, Collaboration, Victimisation", in Saoirse, May 2007, p. 16
  15. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997. Magan's tenure ended with his arrest in Dublin. The IRA adjutant-general as well as members of the Army Council were also arrested. See Dáil Debates, 6 November 1957.
  16. ^ Robert W. White, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-253-34708-4, pp. 85–6.
  17. ^ Named as such by prominent republican, Owen Carron, in a letter entitled Deireadh Seachtaine John Joe McGirl, An Phoblacht/Republican News, 31 July 1997. See also: J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997, p. 322.
  18. ^ By his own admission, see Saoirse interview Revolt in the North 1956-62. See also: Robert W. White, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-253-34708-4, p. 89.
  19. ^ Robert W. White, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-253-34708-4, p. 98.]
  20. ^ Robert W. White, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-253-34708-4, pp. 98–9, 114.]
  21. ^ Robert W. White, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-253-34708-4, pp. 114.]
  22. ^ Confirmed by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, see "Outstanding IRA leader and giant of a man in the Republican Movement", and "Seán Mac Stíofáin -- a tribute", Saoirse, June 2001. See also: Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-101041-X
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-101041-X
  24. ^ Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-101041-X. Confirmed in obituary, Saoirse, December 1999.
  25. ^ Bowyer Bell, J. (1997). The Secret Army: The IRA. Transaction Publishers. p. 520. ISBN 1-56000-901-2. 
  26. ^ Bishop, Patrick & Mallie, Eamonn (1987). The Provisional IRA. Corgi Books. p. 315. ISBN 0-552-13337-X. 
  27. ^ "Broth of a boy - President Clinton recognizes Sinn Féin". National Review. 24 October 1994. Retrieved 2007-02-19. [dead link]
  28. ^ Taylor, Peter (1997). Provos The IRA & Sinn Féin. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 201. ISBN 0-7475-3818-2. 
  29. ^ Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-101041-X. Adams denies he was Chief of Staff at any time. "IRA Expert Ed Moloney to Speak On Campus Nov. 20", Boston Chronicle, 14 November 2002.
  30. ^ "IRA Expert Ed Moloney to Speak On Campus Nov. 20", Boston Chronicle, 14 November 2002.
  31. ^ Liam Clarke, "Garland arrested in US forgery hunt", Sunday Times, 9 October 2005.
  32. ^ "CIRA bomb adds to growing crisis in the peace process", Irish Examiner, 7 July 2000.