The Original Tories – An Sean Tóraidhe

From Wikipedia (

There was a long tradition of guerrilla warfare in Ireland before the 1690s… In the Irish Confederate Wars of the 1640s and 50s, irregular fighters on the Irish Confederate side were known as “tories”, from the Irish word tóraidhe (modern tóraí) meaning “pursued man”. The tories were usually Confederate soldiers whose units had broken up and who regrouped in small bands in rugged country such as the Wicklow Mountains or the Bog of Allen. From 1650-53, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, the tories caused the occupying English Parliamentarian forces a great deal of trouble, attacking vulnerable garrisons, tax-collectors and supply columns and then melting away when faced with detachments of English troops.

So why do conservative Brits monopolise the word “Tory” now?

Because, in the contemporary super-power politics of way back then, the Gaelic Irish and Old English settlers of Ireland (in the form of the provisional national parliament of Confederation of Kilkenny), found it instrumental – in bargaining for their liberties – to make a realpolitik tactical alliance with the Royalists against Cromwell the Butcher (a prototype of later ideological mass-murderers such as Hitler and Stalin).

And because of that Royalist tangent, later British royalists and then conservatives would be disparaged by their opponents, by being referred to as Irish Guerillas.

I suggest that we take back this epithet, this alientated word of power and symbol of our proud history, and wear it instead as a badge of honour – as the true successors to the original and genuine old tories – na Sean Tóraidhe.

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Aon Fhreagra Amháin to “The Original Tories – An Sean Tóraidhe”

  1. Conservatism: WTF? « An Saoirsí - The Libertista Says:

    […] I now consider myself a Sean-Tóraidhe/Paleo-Tory; both because it refers to a historically-grounded Irish practice of resistance, a […]


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