Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

Seán Cronin “A man among men”
A tribute by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh Patron of Republican Sinn Féin

Seán Cronin who died in Washington on March 9 was a patriotic Irishman who gave service to the cause of Irish National Independence to a level which was second to none.

Because he was skilled in so many different ways his contributions were all the more valuable. As a writer, public speaker, lecturer, political analyst and military person. He could turn his hand to most things but above all he was a leader of men who led from the front.

Those who served with him in the Republican Movement in the years 1955-1965 can attest to his fairmindedness and sense of justice.

Mná tí in the houses where he was billeted spoke highly of him as “a gentleman” who did his utmost not to put the household under pressure.

A socialist who supported women’s liberation he could always see the broad sweep of affairs and the consequences of actions. His military experience in the army of the 26-County State included a period as a lecturer in the Command and Staff College at the Curragh.

He rose quickly through the ranks of the IRA serving as Director of Operations, Editor of the United Irishman and for two periods as Chief-of-Staff.

He was author of many books and pamphlets including The McGarrity Papers; The Search for the Republic (A biography of Frank Ryan); Irish Nationalism a history of its roots and ideology; Young Connolly (An account of James Connolly’s youth); Our Own Red Blood (About the 1916 Rising); Washington’s Irish Policy 1916 – 1986 Independence, Partition, Neutrality; Notes on Guerrilla Warfare; Resistance (The story of the struggle in British occupied Ireland); Ireland Since the Treaty and An appeal to Unionists.

The latter four were written under various noms-de-plumes. For more than 20 years he was The Irish Times Washington Correspondent. In its obituary that newspaper described his work as “Meticulously precise as a reporter” and his Washington Letter “Was a must read”.

Seán Cronin is survived by his wife Reva. She and all the Irish Republicans who worked with him can be justly proud to have been associated with a man among men.

Sincere sympathy is extended.

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