Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army

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Several people are reported to have served as Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army (Irish: Ceann Foirne Óglaigh na hÉireann) in the 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]

Image Name Assumed position Left position Source
Cathalbrugha.JPG
Cathal Brugha[a] 27 October 1917 March 1918 [1]
General Richard Mulcahy 1922 cropped.jpg
Richard Mulcahy March 1918 15 January 1922 [2]
Eoin O'Duffy 1922 cropped.jpg
Eoin O'Duffy 15 January 1922 July 1922 [2]

From this point on, this lineage diverts to Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces

a. ^ Chairman of the Resident Executive

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

Image Name Assumed position Left position Source
Liamlynchira.jpg
Liam Lynch (1st time) 26 March 1922 18 June 1922 [3]
Joe McKelvey.jpg
Joe McKelvey 18 June 1922 30 June 1922 [4]
Liamlynchira.jpg
Liam Lynch (2nd time) 30 June 1922 10 April 1923
Frank Aiken 1944 cropped.jpg
Frank Aiken 20 April 1923 12 November 1925 [5]
Andrew Cooney 12 November 1925 July 1926 [6]
Moss Twomey.png
Maurice (Moss) Twomey 1926 (acting)
1927 (official)
June 1936 [7]
Seán MacBride circa 1947.jpg
Seán MacBride June 1936 1937[8] [9]
Tom Barry (IRA guerrilla leader, born 1897).jpg
Tom Barry 1937 1937 [3]
Mick Fitzpatrick 1937 1938 [10]
Sean Russell.jpg
Seán Russell 1938 April 1939 [11][12]
Stephen Hayes April 1939 30 June 1941 [11][12][13]
Pearse Kelly (aka Paul Kelso) 1941 27 November 1941
Seán Harrington Aft. November 1941 10 February 1942 [14]
Seán McCool 10 February 1942 [14] 14 August 1942
Eoin McNamee.jpg
Eoin McNamee c. March 1942 c. May 1942 [15][16]
Hugh McAteer c. May 1942 12 October 1942
Charlie Kerins, circa 1930s.jpg
Charlie Kerins October 1942 16 June 1944
Position vacant for some months 16 June 1944 1944
Harry White 1944 1945
Patrick Fleming 1 March 1945 1947? [17]
Willie McGuinness 1947 1948? [18]
Tony Magan (1st time) November 1948 6 July 1957 [19]
Richard Burke January 1957 May 1957 [20]
Tony Magan (2nd time) May 1957 6 July 1957 [21]
Seán Cronin (1st time) July 1957 (acting)
11 November 1957 (official)
October 1958 [22]
John Joe McGirl October 1958 24 October 1958 [23]
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh 2004 (cropped).jpg
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (1st time) 24 October 1958 Late May 1959 [24]
Seán Cronin (2nd time) Late May 1959 June 1960 [25]
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh 2004 (cropped).jpg
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (2nd time) Summer 1960 7 September 1962 [26]
Cathal Goulding 7 September 1962 December 1969 [27]

At an IRA General Army Convention held at Knockvicar House in Boyle, County Roscommon in December 1969, the IRA split into two factions, the majority Official IRA and the minority Provisional IRA.[28][29]

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

Image Name Assumed position Left position Source
Seán Mac Stíofáin December 1969 19 November 1972 [30]
Joe Cahill November 1972 March 1973 [31]
Seamus Twomey (1st time) March 1973 June 1973 [31]
Éamonn O'Doherty June 1973 June/July 1974 [32]
Seamus Twomey (2nd time) June/July 1974 December 1977 [31]
Gerry Adams, 1997.jpg
Gerry Adams[a] 3 December 1977 18 February 1978 [33][34][35][36][37]
Martin McGuinness in Jan 2017 (headshot).jpg
Martin McGuinness[b] 1978 Autumn 1982 [31]
Ivor Bell Autumn 1982 September 1983 [31]
Kevin McKenna September 1983 October 1997 [31]
Thomas "Slab" Murphy October 1997 1998 [31]
Brian Keenan 1998 2002 or May 2008 [38][39]
Unnamed Belfast Resident May 2008 (?) Incumbent [40]

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.[41]

b. ^ Although he admitted in his lifetime to IRA membership, he denied ever being Chief of Staff

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

Image Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
Cathal Goulding December 1969 Summer 1976 [42]
Seán Garland.jpg
Sean Garland[a] Summer 1976

[43]

a. ^ Hanley and Millar (2010) wrote: Goulding was "replaced by Garland after an Army Council vote in summer 1976. Long dismissive of the IRA's titles and formal military structure, Garland was reluctant to adopt the title of Chief of Staff; but he was now undoubtedly in charge".

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

Image Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
Dáithí Ó Conaill 1974.jpg
Dáithí Ó Conaill 1986 1991 [44]

Chiefs of Staff of the Real Irish Republican Army (1997–present)[edit]

Image Name Assumed Position Left Position Source
Aidan O'Driscoll [45]

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 Archived 2006-05-08 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Henry Boylan, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1998.
  6. ^ "Student Radicals Archived 2005-09-28 at the Wayback Machine", in: High Ball, February 2002.
  7. ^ Brian Hanley, The IRA: 1926-36, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2002. ISBN 1-85182-721-8
  8. ^ Dictionary of irish Biography
  9. ^ Seán MacBride That Day's Struggle. A Memoir, ed. Caitríona Lawlor, Dublin: Currach Press, 2005. ISBN 1-85607-929-5
  10. ^ Hanley, Brian (2002). The IRA, 1923-1936. Dublin: Four Courts Press. p. 18.
  11. ^ a b Bowyer Bell, J. (1997). The Secret Army: The IRA. Transaction Publishers. p. 159. ISBN 1-56000-901-2.
  12. ^ a b Coogan, Tim Pat (2002). The I.R.A. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 134. ISBN 978-0312294168.
  13. ^ Dáil Debates Archived 2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine, 7 July 1943.
  14. ^ a b The Irish Press, 07 March 1942
  15. ^ Tim Pat Coogan, The IRA A History, Niwot: Roberts Rinehart Publishers, 1993. ISBN 1-879373-67-X
  16. ^ Hegarty-Thorne, Kathleen (25 July 2019). "The IRA Chief of Staff who was "unbought, unconquered, and unpurchasable to the last"". IrishCentral.com. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  17. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997. ISBN 1-56000-901-2
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, Somerset: Transaction Publishers, 1997.
  20. ^ "Arrests, Collaboration, Victimisation" Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, in Saoirse, May 2007, p. 16
  21. ^ 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 Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, 6 November 1957.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ By his own admission, see Saoirse interview Revolt in the North 1956-62 Archived 2005-04-05 at the Wayback Machine. 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.
  25. ^ 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.]
  26. ^ 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.]
  27. ^ 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.]
  28. ^ White, Robert (2017). Out of the Ashes: An Oral History of the Provisional Irish Republican Movement. Merrion Press. pp. 64–65. ISBN 9781785370939.
  29. ^ Hanley, Brian; Millar, Scott (2010). The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers' Party. Penguin Books. p. 145. ISBN 978-0141028453.
  30. ^ 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
  31. ^ a b c d e f g Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-101041-X
  32. ^ Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-101041-X. Confirmed in obituary, Saoirse, December 1999.
  33. ^ Bowyer Bell, J. (1997). The Secret Army: The IRA. Transaction Publishers. p. 520. ISBN 1-56000-901-2.
  34. ^ Bishop, Patrick & Mallie, Eamonn (1987). The Provisional IRA. Corgi Books. p. 315. ISBN 0-552-13337-X.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  35. ^ "Broth of a boy - President Clinton recognizes Sinn Féin". National Review. 24 October 1994. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  36. ^ Taylor, Peter (1997). Provos The IRA & Sinn Féin. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 201. ISBN 0-7475-3818-2.
  37. ^ 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" Archived 2006-09-12 at the Wayback Machine, Boston Chronicle, 14 November 2002.
  38. ^ Cusack, Jim (30 November 2014). "The Provos and its 'loony chief' who still dictate to SF". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 November 2019. It is said he was brought onto the Army Council in the 1990s by Brian Keenan, the hard-line IRA Chief of Staff among whose policies was the genocide of Protestants living in Border areas
  39. ^ "Mastermind of IRA bombing campaigns who became the organisation's negotiator over decommissioning". The Telegraph. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2019. After the IRA resumed its truce in 1997, Sinn Fein helped negotiate a 1998 peace accord that proposed the total disarmament of the IRA by mid-2000. Keenan, who replaced Thomas "Slab" Murphy as the IRA's chief of staff in 1998, quickly ruled out this prospect, arguing that the group would disarm only in co-operation with a future all-Ireland government...the onset of cancer which forced (Keenan) to step down from the Army Council in 2002.
  40. ^ Cusack, Jim (30 November 2014). "The Provos and its 'loony chief' who still dictate to SF". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 November 2019. It is understood the current 'Chief' assumed the role on Brian Keenan's death in May 2008 and is very much in his vein of thinking.
  41. ^ "IRA Expert Ed Moloney to Speak On Campus Nov. 20" Archived 2006-09-12 at the Wayback Machine, Boston Chronicle, 14 November 2002.
  42. ^ Hanley, Brian; Millar, Scott (2010). The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers' Party. Penguin Books. pp. 149–150, 332. ISBN 978-0141028453.
  43. ^ Hanley, Brian; Millar, Scott (2010). The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers' Party. Penguin Books. p. 332. ISBN 978-0141028453.
  44. ^ "CIRA bomb adds to growing crisis in the peace process Archived 2007-05-09 at the Wayback Machine", Irish Examiner, 7 July 2000.
  45. ^ https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/former-chief-of-staff-of-real-ira-shot-and-killed-in-cork-city-1.2896940., 'Former chief of staff of Real IRA shot and killed in Cork city' The Irish Times, 07 December 2016