Cathal Goulding (1923-1998)

Thinker, Socialist, Revolutionary, Republican.

Photo: (c) Bobbie Hanvey.

Cathal Goulding was born in East Arran Street, Dublin on 2nd January 1923.  His whole family background was one of involvement in the Irish revolutionary struggle stretching back to the middle of the 19th century.


Cathal joined Na Fianna Éireann in 1931 when he was just 8 years of age.  He joined the Irish Republican Army in 1939 when he was sixteen years of age.


He was first arrested in 1940 and was interned without trial in the Curragh Internment Camp until 1945.  After his release he, along with a small number of comrades, began rebuilding the IRA.  Following the Felstead arms raid in England he was jailed from 1953 to 1959.  In 1962 Cathal was elected Chief of Staff of the IRA and immediately began a process of bringing socialist politics into the IRA.


He was a life-long member of Sinn Féin and was instrumental in bringing about fundamental change in that organisation, culminating in the name change to Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party and the building of the Workers’ Party into a force in Irish politics.


He was a member of the Party’s Political and Central Executive Committees (Ard Comhairle) until he died.  His life’s struggle to achieve a United, Socialist Irish Republic is an everlasting example to all true revolutionaries.


Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics