Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish Revolution, 1909-23

Scouting for rebels

By Marnie Hay

Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish Revolution, 1909-23


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2776-1
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: May 2019
  • BIC Category: Politics, Comparative politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism & Patriotism, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, Ireland, Humanities / British & Irish history, Society & social sciences / Comparative politics


This book provides a scholarly yet accessible account of the Irish nationalist youth organisation Na Fianna Éireann and its contribution to the Irish Revolution in the period 1909-23. Countess Constance Markievicz and Bulmer Hobson established Na Fianna Éireann, or the Irish National Boy Scouts, as an Irish nationalist antidote to Robert Baden-Powell's scouting movement founded in 1908. Between their establishment in 1909 and near decimation during the Irish Civil War of 1922-23, Na Fianna Éireann recruited, trained and nurtured a cadre of young nationalist activists who made an essential contribution to the struggle for Irish independence. This book will be of interest to historians and students specialising in the history of the Irish Revolution, youth culture, paramilitarism and twentieth-century Ireland. It will also appeal to the general reader with an interest in the history of the Irish Revolution.


'Ten years after Hay (Dublin City Univ.) revived the memory of a forgotten Irish Republican Brotherhood member in Bulmer Hobson and the Nationalist Movement in Twentieth-Century Ireland (2009), she is back with Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish Revolution, 1909-23. As in her previous work, Hay reveals the importance of the Irish National Boy Scouts, or Na Fianna Éireann, to the Irish Revolution in the years 1909-23. In a conversational tone that eschews academic jargon, this book is both insightful and thoroughly researched. An unusual and welcome feature are four appendixes that identify key pieces of information about Fianna members, such as their birth and death dates, who gave witness statements, and who received pensions. For scholars who are tasked with reviving the memories of marginalized figures from the past, as well as for family members who are seeking to piece together genealogies, the raw data organized in these handy tables is invaluable.'
Choice Connect

'A must-read for both academics and non-academics alike.'
Irish Historical Studies


1 Na Fianna Éireann in context
2 The countess and the Quaker
3 A handful of boys against the British Empire, 1909-16
4 Expansion and contraction, 1916-23
5 Who joined the Fianna?
6 The Fianna experience
7 Moulding minds and marketing martyrdom
8 Youth in arms


Marnie Hay is a Lecturer in History in the School of History and Geography at Dublin City University

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