CLARE TD Cathal Crowe has publicly rowed with Ennis Sinn Féin in recent days, over the naming of the Peadar Clancy Mairead Farrell Cumann.
Originally from Cranny, Peadar Clancy was killed on Bloody Sunday, in November 1920 and Deputy Crowe was involved in a Facebook spat this week with the Ennis Sinn Fein Cumann over the use of his name.
“I think it’s disrespectful and insensitive to the surviving members of Peadar Clancy’s family. They’ve made it clear that they don’t consent to his name being used, they’ve written to Sinn Féin headquarters and their complaints have been ignored.
“Normally I would confine my political debating with Sinn Féin to the Dáil chamber but I do place a high value on history and historic accuracy. I don’t see how the Sinn Féin cumann in Ennis can in any way claim lineage or connection to Peadar Clancy and I think it’s disrespectful that they continue to do so with his family objecting to it.”
The Mairead Farrell in the cumann name was an IRA member killed by the British Army in contested circumstances in Gibraltar in 1988, and Deputy Crowe said that Peadar Clancy should not be linked with her.
“The cumann is jointly named with Mairead Farrell of the Provisional IRA and I think it’s a huge rewriting of history, and an inaccurate one at that.”
A grandnephew of Clancy’s contributed to the Facebook spat, also criticising the name of the Ennis cumann.
“SF are totally disrespectful of my grand-uncle and all he stood for by attempting to associate his name with the SF as we know them today. My dear grandmother (Peadar’s sister) would turn in her grave”.
However cumann chairman Tommy Guilfoyle rejected the criticisms, while he said Deputy Crowe knows they are not accurate.
“Cathal Crowe has said that we don’t have family permission to use Peadar Clancy’s name as part of our cumann name. We actually have family members’ consent and blessing to use Peadar’s name.
“We use his name with great honour and respect. We’ve invited Cathal Crowe and members of the family who he says he represents, to sit down and talk to us, but the offer has not been accepted.”
He said that a relative of Clancy’s had interacted with the Meelick TD when he raised the issue in a separate online forum some time ago.
Mr Guilfoyle also said that Clancy would have been a strong opponent of partition.
“He’s ranting and raving as if Fianna Fáil own Peadar Clancy. I can tell you after reading the book (Peadar Clancy: Easter Rising Hero, Bloody Sunday Martyr) that Peadar Clancy would not be in favour of a partitioned Ireland.”
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.