Fenians and Ribbonmen

the development of republican politics in East Tyrone, 1898–1918

By Fergal McCluskey

Fenians and Ribbonmen

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8471-3
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £65.00
  • Published Date: June 2011
  • BIC Category: Politics, Political activism, Society & social sciences / Political activism


East Tyrone sits at the crossroads of Irish politics. This book commences with the struggle between Belfast's 'Wee Joe' Devlin, the coming man of the Irish Parliamentary Party, and the Irish Republican Brotherhood to gain mastery over the burgeoning Ancient Order of Hibernians and, with it, control of popular nationalist politics in Ulster. It then recounts the fascinating and often violent story of the relationship between local Fenians and Ribbonmen, across a seminal generation in Irish politics. The narrative centres on an established local Fenian tradition and its relationship with Devlinite Hibernianism, from co-operation, to overt confrontation, to a power struggle within the Irish Volunteer movement, to the Fenians' prominent role in Sinn Féin's meteoric rise in the aftermath of the Easter Rising. Fenians and Ribbonmen will be essential reading for those interested in Irish history and politics.


Fergal McCluskey is an IRCSSH fellow at the National University of Ireland, Galway.


Maps and illustrations
List of abbreviations
1. A period of nationalist flux: 1898-1906
2. The struggle for popular hearts and minds, 1906-9
3. The Ulster crisis, 1910-14
4. Fenians, farmers and cannon fodder, 25 November 1919-24 April 1916
5. Organic crisis and the rise of Sinn Féin, April 1916-September 1917
6. The Sinn Féin political revolution, 1917-18
Conclusion: ideology and the Sinn Féin 'revolution'

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