Looking at this picture you could be mistaken and might think it is Germany, Italy or Spain in the 1930’s. No, it is Ireland and is a group of children in Charleville Co. Cork taken in April 1933. They are photographed wearing the Blueshirt and giving the Roman salute. The Army Comrades Association (colloquially ‘the Blueshirts’) was Ireland’s domestic fascist group led by former Garda Commissioner General Eoin O’Duffy. The group enjoyed a brief flurry of success in a turbulent period in post-independence Ireland, as the democratic government found itself under attack by both the ACA and the IRA. The ACA merged with Cumann na nGaedheal and the National Centre Party in September 1933 to found Fine Gael. General O’Duffy was the first leader of the party, but he quickly became an embarrassment to his colleagues and was removed as leader shortly after Fine Gael’s foundation. He would briefly enter the spot light when he led an ill-fated mission to assist General Franco in the Spanish Civil War.