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Fenian

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Fenian is a term used since the 1860s for an Irish nationalist who espouses violence, usually by people opposed to their aims. It can also specifically refer to the Fenian Brotherhood of America.

The term derives from the Gaelic Na Fianna or Na Fianna Éireann which in Celtic mythology were a band of warriors formed to protect Ireland, Fionn Mac Cumhaill being the most famous of it's warriors.

It is also used by Northern Ireland unionists as a derogatory term for Irish nationalists. This usage can also be found in Scotland, particularly during Old Firm football matches where it is usually aimed at Celtic supporters, due to that teams Irish connections.

In 1865-66, following the US Civil War, Irish-Americans who were former soldiers of the Union Army launched raids into British North American territory in the Province of Canada in order to put pressure on the United Kingdom to leave Ireland. These were known as the Fenian Raids.

External links

  • 1865 Newspaper Article Describing the Fenians (http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1865/the-fenians.htm)

Fenian is also the name of the horse that won the Belmont Stakes in 1869. His image appears atop the trophy awarded to the winner of the Belmont Stakes.sv:Fenier

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