April32013
Ireland’s would be fascist leader, General Eoin O’Duffy. O’Duffy made a career for himself as an IRA commander in Monaghan during the War of Independence. This brought him to the attention of Michael Collins, who held him in high regard and designated O’Duffy as his successor. O’Duffy supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and served as a general in the Free State Army, before being appointed as the Commissioner of the newly formed police force (Garda Síochána). His work as Garda Commissioner was the high point in his career, until he put out feelers to army officers about staging a coup against the incoming Fianna Fáil government in 1932. This cost him his job and in bitterness he allied himself with the Army Comrades Association (ACA). Having become an admirer of Mussolini, O’Duffy gave this ex-serviceman’s group a distinctly fascist element, similar to Hitler and Mussolini’s shirted henchmen. In the case of Ireland the ACA wore blue shirts as well as the Roman salute and the shout “Hoch (up) O’Duffy”. The ACA attracted support from anti-Fianna Fáil forces and it was in regular conflict with the government. Eventually the ACA merged with the major opposition party Cumann na nGaedheal and Centre Party to form Fine Gael. O’Duffy led the party briefly but quickly became an embarrassment. His last major foray onto the public stage was leading Irish volunteers to support Franco in the Spanish Civil War. The Irish involvement proved farcical and ineffectual to the Nationalist cause in Spain. He died in 1944 in relative obscurity, though he was accorded a state funeral by the Fianna Fáil government. Amongst other things contemporary historians believe O’Duffy was gay, like Michael Barrymore we could have done without him. 

Ireland’s would be fascist leader, General Eoin O’Duffy. O’Duffy made a career for himself as an IRA commander in Monaghan during the War of Independence. This brought him to the attention of Michael Collins, who held him in high regard and designated O’Duffy as his successor. O’Duffy supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and served as a general in the Free State Army, before being appointed as the Commissioner of the newly formed police force (Garda Síochána). His work as Garda Commissioner was the high point in his career, until he put out feelers to army officers about staging a coup against the incoming Fianna Fáil government in 1932. This cost him his job and in bitterness he allied himself with the Army Comrades Association (ACA). Having become an admirer of Mussolini, O’Duffy gave this ex-serviceman’s group a distinctly fascist element, similar to Hitler and Mussolini’s shirted henchmen. In the case of Ireland the ACA wore blue shirts as well as the Roman salute and the shout “Hoch (up) O’Duffy”. The ACA attracted support from anti-Fianna Fáil forces and it was in regular conflict with the government. Eventually the ACA merged with the major opposition party Cumann na nGaedheal and Centre Party to form Fine Gael. O’Duffy led the party briefly but quickly became an embarrassment. His last major foray onto the public stage was leading Irish volunteers to support Franco in the Spanish Civil War. The Irish involvement proved farcical and ineffectual to the Nationalist cause in Spain. He died in 1944 in relative obscurity, though he was accorded a state funeral by the Fianna Fáil government. Amongst other things contemporary historians believe O’Duffy was gay, like Michael Barrymore we could have done without him. 

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