Cumann


Cumann

A cumann (Irish for association; plural cumainn) is the lowest local unit or branch of a number of Irish political parties. The term cumann may also be used to describe a non-political association.

Traditionally Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have called their local branches by that term. Fine Gael also uses the term to describe its local branches in the Clare constituency.

Joining a cumann

Most[citation needed] 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 (later President of Ireland), 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 constituency), while the Comhairle Dáil Cheantair is a collection of all the cumainn or all the Comhairlí Ceantair in a Dáil (parliamentary) constituency.

Additional reading

  • Basil Chubb, The Government and Politics of Ireland

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