A cumann is the lowest local unit or branch of a number of Irish
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 political parties. The term cumann may also be used to describe a non-political association.

Traditionally Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party , more commonly known as Fianna Fáil is a centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland, founded on 23 March 1926. Fianna Fáil's name is traditionally translated into English as Soldiers of Destiny, although a more accurate rendition would be Warriors of Fál...

 and 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...

 have called their local branches by that term. Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Fine Gael is a centre-right to centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland. It is the single largest party in Ireland in the Oireachtas, in local government, and in terms of Members of the European Parliament. The party has a membership of over 35,000...

 also uses the term to describe its local branches in the Clare
County Clare
-History:There was a Neolithic civilisation in the Clare area — the name of the peoples is unknown, but the Prehistoric peoples left evidence behind in the form of ancient dolmen; single-chamber megalithic tombs, usually consisting of three or more upright stones...


Joining a cumann

Most people affiliated with an Irish nationalist political party join its local unit. Among those who wish to run for office either nationally, locally, or internally within the party, membership of a cumann is expected. The most famous example of a senior figure who did not do so was Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh served as the fifth President of Ireland, from 1974 to 1976. He resigned in 1976 after a clash with the government. He also had a notable legal career, including serving as Chief Justice of Ireland.- Early life :Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, one of four children, was born on 12 February...

 (later President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

), who though a member of Fianna Fáil's National Executive (also called its Ard Chomhairle) in the 1930s never joined a cumann.

Structure of Fianna Fáil

In Fianna Fáil, the elementary units of the party are the cumann, the Comhairle Ceantair (area council) and the Comhairle Dáil Cheantair (constituency council). The Comhairle Ceantair is a form of district unit covering a number of Cumainn over a geographic area (usually a County Council
County council
A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries.-United Kingdom:...

 constituency), while the Comhairle Dáil Cheantair is a collection of all the cumainn or all the Comhairlí Ceantair in a Dáil
Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann is the lower house, but principal chamber, of the Oireachtas , which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann . It is directly elected at least once in every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote...

(parliamentary) constituency.
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