32 County Sovereignty Movement
32 County Sovereignty Movement
Chairman Francis Mackey
Founded 1997
Political Ideology Physical force Irish republicanism
Physical force Irish republicanism
Physical force Irish republicanism, is a term used to describe the recurring appearance of non-parliamentary violent insurrection in Ireland between 1798 and the present...

(Linked to the Real Irish Republican Army
Real Irish Republican Army
The Real Irish Republican Army, otherwise known as the Real IRA , and styling itself as Óglaigh na hÉireann , is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation which aims to bring about a united Ireland...

Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

Colours Green
Website 32csm.info
See also
  • Irish politics
    Politics of the Republic of Ireland
    Ireland is a parliamentary, representative democratic republic and a member state of the European Union. While the head of state is the popularly elected President of Ireland, this is a largely ceremonial position with real political power being vested in the indirectly elected Taoiseach who is...

  • Irish political parties
  • Real IRA

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement, often abbreviated to 32CSM or 32csm, is an Irish republican
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 political organisation.

The 32CSM's objectives are:
  • "The restoration of Irish national sovereignty".

  • "To seek to achieve unity among the Irish people on the issue of restoring national sovereignty and to promote the revolutionary ideals of republicanism and to this end involve itself in resisting all forms of colonialism and imperialism."

  • "To seek the immediate and unconditional release of all Irish republican prisoners throughout the world."

Many of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement's founding members had previously been members of Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 and they were also involved with a sub-group within Sinn Féin called the "32 County Sovereignty Committee".

The 32CSM are often referred to as the ‘political wing’ of the Real IRA
Real Irish Republican Army
The Real Irish Republican Army, otherwise known as the Real IRA , and styling itself as Óglaigh na hÉireann , is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation which aims to bring about a united Ireland...



The organisation was founded on 7 December 1997 at a meeting in Fingal
Fingal is a county in Ireland. It is one of three smaller counties into which County Dublin was divided in 1994. With its county seat located in Swords, it has a population of 239,992 according to the 2006 census...

 in Dublin by republican activists who were opposed to the direction taken by Sinn Féin and other mainstream republican politicians in the peace process
Northern Ireland peace process
The peace process, when discussing the history of Northern Ireland, is often considered to cover the events leading up to the 1994 Provisional Irish Republican Army ceasefire, the end of most of the violence of the Troubles, the Belfast Agreement, and subsequent political developments.-Towards a...

, which would lead to the Belfast Agreement
Belfast Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement , sometimes called the Stormont Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process...

 (also known as the Good Friday Agreement) the following year. The same division in the republican movement led to the paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 group now known as the Real IRA breaking away from the Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 at around the same time. The 32 County Sovereignty Movement is often considered to be the ‘political wing’ of the Real IRA, although members reject the term. As of 2010 it has had no electoral success.

Most of its founders had been members of Sinn Féin; some had been expelled from the party and others felt they had not been properly able to air their concerns within Sinn Féin at the direction its leadership had taken. Bernadette Sands McKevitt
Bernadette Sands McKevitt
Bernadette Sands McKevitt is an Irish republican, and a former leading member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement. She lived in the mainly loyalist Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey before her family were forced out of their home to live in the mainly republican West Belfast...

, a sister of hunger striker
1981 Irish hunger strike
The 1981 Irish hunger strike was the culmination of a five-year protest during The Troubles by Irish republican prisoners in Northern Ireland. The protest began as the blanket protest in 1976, when the British government withdrew Special Category Status for convicted paramilitary prisoners...

 Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Robert Gerard "Bobby" Sands was an Irish volunteer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and member of the United Kingdom Parliament who died on hunger strike while imprisoned in HM Prison Maze....

 and wife of Michael McKevitt
Michael McKevitt
Michael McKevitt is an Irish republican who was convicted of directing terrorism as the leader of the paramilitary organisation, the Real IRA.-Background:...

, was a prominent member of the group until a split in the organisation.

The name refers to the 32 counties of Ireland
Counties of Ireland
The counties of Ireland are sub-national divisions used for the purposes of geographic demarcation and local government. Closely related to the county is the County corporate which covered towns or cities which were deemed to be important enough to be independent from their counties. A county...

 which were created by the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 and claimed by the Irish Republic
Irish Republic
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature , a government , a court system and a police force...

 declared in 1919. Due to the partition of Ireland
Partition of Ireland
The partition of Ireland was the division of the island of Ireland into two distinct territories, now Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . Partition occurred when the British Parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act 1920...

 in 1920-22, twenty-six of these counties formed the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 which became the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, and the other six in what became Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 remain part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...


Before the referendums on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement
Belfast Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement , sometimes called the Stormont Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process...

, the 32CSM lodged a legal submission with the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 challenging British sovereignty in Ireland. The referendums were opposed by the 32CSM, but were supported by 71% of voters in Northern Ireland and by 94% in the Republic of Ireland.

In November 2005 the 32CSM launched a political initiative titled Irish Democracy, A Framework For Unity.


The 32CSM have protested against Internment by Remand in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Other protests include ones against former Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and currently led by Peter Robinson, it is currently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the...

 (DUP) leader Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside, PC is a politician and church minister in Northern Ireland. As the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party , he and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness were elected First Minister and deputy First Minister respectively on 8 May 2007.In addition to co-founding...

; in Cobh, Co. Cork, against former British Prime Minister John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

 being given the Keys to Cork City, against a visit to the Republic of Ireland by Police Service of Northern Ireland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is the police force that serves Northern Ireland. It is the successor to the Royal Ulster Constabulary which, in turn, was the successor to the Royal Irish Constabulary in Northern Ireland....

 head Sir Hugh Orde, and against the Israeli occupation of Palestine
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 and Anglo-American occupation of Iraq.

The 32CSM has been subject to protests by the families of those who died in the Omagh bombing
Omagh bombing
The Omagh bombing was a car bomb attack carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army , a splinter group of former Provisional Irish Republican Army members opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, on Saturday 15 August 1998, in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Twenty-nine people died as a...

 which was perpetrated by the Real IRA.


This group is currently considered a Foreign Terrorist Organization
U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
"Foreign Terrorist Organization" is a designation of non-United States-based organizations declared terrorist by the United States Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act...

 (FTO) in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as the group is considered to be inseparable from the Real IRA, who are designated as a FTO. At a briefing in 2001, the spokesman for US Department of State stated that "evidence provided by both the British and Irish governments and open source materials demonstrate clearly that the individuals who created the Real IRA also established these two entities to serve as the public face of the Real IRA. These alias organizations engage in propaganda and fundraising on behalf of and in collaboration with the Real IRA". This made it illegal for Americans to provide material support to the Real IRA, requires US financial institutions to block the group's assets and denies alleged RIRA members visas into the US.

External links

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