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Former head of IRA and leading dissident Republican Ruairi O Bradaigh passes away at age 81 Photo by: PA

Former IRA leader Ruairi O Bradaigh remembered by a close friend

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Former head of IRA and leading dissident Republican Ruairi O Bradaigh passes away at age 81 Photo by: PA

Worries of financial security (he fought the government for his teacher’s pension for years), the death of a sister, and the back-and-forth arguments of litigation regarding his car accident all contributed to a stroke suffered in 1989. His constant companion thereafter was a cane.

As a new millennium unfolded, Ó’Brádaigh continued his political activities: attending commemorations, visiting the office of Republican Sinn Féin in Dublin, issuing statements that clarified his position. In 2005, for only the second time in his long political life, he gave the key oration at Bodenstown. Like Wolfe Tone, he no doubt took his long-held Republican beliefs to the grave. What words best express his life’s dream? They are but two—Brits out!

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