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Fenian Manifesto

During the middle of the 19th Century, a series of factors combined to create a new Irish patriotic movement. This organization was a revolutionary group dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland. It had its roots in both the United States and Ireland and was popularly known as The Fenian Movement, in honour of the Fianna, the ancient Irish warriors.

The origin of the term Fenian comes from Irish folklore. It described an ancient group of Knights who were self-reliant and had a passion for Irish land. So great was their passion according to the legend, they gave up a chance for world dominion to keep Ireland. This fit very closely with the beliefs of the modern movement and was taken as the organization name.

Times were hard for the Irish, and had been since England took control of the land. In the middle of the 1840's, however, things got much worse. The potato famine of 1845-1848 was a great disaster to the Irish population. In the space of three short years, the inhabitants of the country declined by over two million souls. Some of these two million people immigrated to America while most starved to death or died of disease.

After the famine ended, times remained very hard for the Irish. They never completely recovered from the disaster and many more Irish immigrated to America during the 1850's. Most of these people were of a very strong patriotic belief in their home country, and only left because they had to survive.
Paddy McCourts Fenian Army.
by jinkybhoy December 07, 2012
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Contrary to common belief, fenian is not a random slang word for catholics, before the ira, there was the fenian brotherhood, fenian being gaelic for brave young warrior, when a british army person was apprehending a member, they used the term, "you fenian bastard" this has endured, it isn't a random term, or a chuckle for the irish about how it's secretly a compliment, it's simply a legacy from the insults for the fenian brotherhood
by RAFscotty August 11, 2012
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yet another slang word used to piss catholics off in northern ireland.prods use it alot in everyday slabbering matches
by Red Hand Julie July 03, 2003
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Currently used as a derogatory name for a Roman Catholic/Republican when in fact it is a compliment.
me: Gerry Adams is a fenian bastard.
gerry: I'm proud that i'm a fenian bastard
by not fenian February 24, 2004
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1. Originally American Branch of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the term came to be associated with the entire movement. Founded in the 1850s, the aim of the organisation was the establishment of an Irish Republic independent of British rule. They led a failed rebellion in Ireland in 1867, and were also known for carrying out raids on British interests in Canada.

2. The term has become associated with support for the Irish republican movement, in latter times with support for the provisional IRA in Northern Ireland.

3.Also used by ignorant Northern Ireland protestants/ Unionists (judging by other posts here with no idea of its origin) as derogatory term for Irish Catholics/ Nationalists.
1. The Fenian-led rebellion of 1867 was a tragic failure.

2. My Brother James is an out-and-out Fenian, he won't rest until the Brits leave Ireland for good

3. Fenian Bastards, who do they think they are, trying to get treated as equals to us northern prods (protestants)
by A. McNamara March 24, 2007
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A person or persons who wear Glasgow celtic tops, bum fluff mustaches and smell quite badly.
Hey mate did ya see that wee fenian?
by Anonymous May 15, 2003
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A more common word for a Catholic, similar to taig. Mainly used in Northern Ireland and Scotland
"Away ta hell, I've no time for fenian gypsies"

Said by Orange Lily, character in Northern Irish comedian James Young's sketches.
by lasagneman January 16, 2010
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