It is clear that the country is in need of an institution which preserves and promotes our nation’s values of honour, respect, fealty, and fairness through the cultivation of those values in individuals – particularly the young. We already have a model for this in our semi-myth/semi-historical “Fenian/Ossianic Cycle” which tells the story of a band of warriors held together by those values and brotherly love. This is a call to all men and women of Ireland, and particularly the youth, to join and help build such an institution.

Until recently an organisation by the name of “Fianna Éireann” existed (and likely still does, despite being outlawed as a terrorist organisation in both the Free State and the UK) as a key sub-org under the Irish Republican Brotherhood which the youth served in before joining the Irish Republican Army upon becoming an adult. The IRB being mainly political in nature only retained some terminology and symbolism as cultural window dressing for their Republican and Marxist politics. Now that the IRB has lived out its usefulness it should be seen as an illegitimate use of a vital piece of our heritage. We should learn both from The Tales of Oisín and the past mistakes of Fianna Éireann, and establish a non-hierarchical, a-political, and decentralised institution with clear and definite principals. It should be a-political to avoid limiting it in scope, membership, and usefulness. It should be decentralised and non-hierarchical to avoid hijacking by political or spiritual enemies. Hierarchical and political organisations can exist within it,  but they must be autonomous and respect the autonomy of all Fianna. The important thing is that each man and woman lives up to the standard and helps create an atmosphere around themselves that cultivates support for that behaviour. This alone will expand and advance our culture.

The Fianna Honour Code

In The Tales of Oisín, Finn gave advice to a newer member of his band who wasn’t making the mark and whom the rest of the Fianna demanded Finn expel. It was clear that the young man was no behaving as one should to cultivate the prowess the other Fianna had. This makes Finn’s instructions very fitting for others to read and apply to their lives as, let’s face it, almost none of us are anything like the Fianna. A frequent response I hear from people after reading Finn’s instructions goes something like “There isn’t anything new here” or “I already know this,” yet only a small number who say these things actually live up to the standards set forth. The point of moral teachings, particularly in the form of mythology, is for reference. Clearly these standards aren’t being kept, so clearly these standards must be stated. If you “already know” these things, you likely still require frequent reminders of them.

If you have a mind to be a good champion, be quiet in a great man’s house; be surely in the narrow pass.

Do not beat your hound without a cause; do not bring a charge against your wife without having knowledge of her guilt; do not hurt a fool in fighting, for he is without his wits.

Do not find fault with high-up persons; do not stand up to take part in a quarrel; have no dealings with a bad man or a foolish man. Let two-thirds of your gentleness be showed to women and to little children that are creeping on the floor, and to men of learning that make the poems, and do not be rough with the common people.

Do not give your reverence to all; do not be ready to have one bed with your companions.

Do not threaten or speak big words, for it is a shameful thing to speak stiffly unless you can carry it out afterwards. Do not forsake your lord so long as you live; do not give up any man that puts himself under your protection for all the treasures of the world.

Do not speak against others to their lord, that is not work for a good man.

Do not be a bearer of lying stories, or a tale-bearer that is always chattering.

Do not be talking too much; do not find fault hastily; however brave you may be, do not raise factions against you.

Do not be going to drinking-houses, or finding fault with old men; do not meddle with low people; this is right conduct I am telling you.

Do not refuse to share your meat; do not have a niggard for your friend; do not force yourself on a great man or give him occasion to speak against you. Hold fast to your arms till the hard fight is well ended.

Do not give up your opportunity, but with that follow after gentleness.