Éistigí or “Listen”*, is the teenage wing of the minor Irish republican party, Saoradh. It sometimes uses the sobriquet Republican Youth, which is the same name as the equivalent body associated with Sinn Féin. Internationally, there is a long history of political parties having separate organisations for young people, though few can boast of the revolutionary roots that groups in Ireland can point to. In this context, the original template was the early 20th century scouting body, the Fianna Éireann, a nationalist grouping largely for a male membership though the Belfast branch, the Betsy Gray Slua, was all-female. The organisation was purposefully militant in nature, many members passing on to the ranks of the Irish Republican Army or other insurgent bodies.
However, by the late 1980s most fringe republican parties in Ireland had adapted to the country’s mainstream political conventions, de-emphasising or eliminating the quasi-militarist veneer of their youth wings. In line with that development, Éistigí is focused on attracting new members to the parent organisation, issue-based activism and electoral campaigning.
Interestingly, the group is represented by its own logo, separate from Saoarah’s chaotic party emblem. As I discussed elsewhere, since the 1970s the international five-pointed star has become a distinctive symbol of left-wing republicanism in Ireland. Éistigí combines this with a stock image of a clenched fist inside a round circle, using the green, white and orange colours of the national flag. While striking in its own way, it emulates the fussiness of the parent logo, lacking the clean lines you see in emblems used by the likes of éirígí, a small republican party. Indeed, though they might not like the comparison, the Saoradh family of graphic designs are not only old fashioned in tone but seem like Gaelic equivalents of the overloaded flags and banners of the anti-colonial movements of Africa during the 1960s and ’70s.
*The name appears as Éistigi in the group’s PR but the more conventional Irish spelling is Éistigí, with accent over the end “i“. Perhaps there is some alternative or regional variant of the term that I am unaware of?