Eoin O'Duffy (Irish: Eoin Ó Dubhthaigh; born Owen Duffy, 28 January 1890 – 30 November 1944) was an Irish nationalist political activist, soldier and police commissioner. He was the leader of the Monaghan Brigade of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and a prominent figure in the Ulster IRA during the Irish War of Independence. In this capacity he became Chief of Staff of the IRA in 1922. He was one of the Irish republicans who along with Michael Collins accepted the Anglo-Irish Treaty and fought as a General in the Irish Civil War on the pro-Treaty side.
O'Duffy became the second Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, the police force of the new Irish Free State, after the Civic Guard Mutiny and the subsequent resignation of Michael Staines. He had been an early member of Sinn Féin, founded by Arthur Griffith. He was elected as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Monaghan, his home county, during the 1921 election. After a split in 1923 he became associated with Cumann na nGaedheal and led the movement known as the Blueshirts. After the merger of various pro-Treaty factions under the banner of Fine Gael, O'Duffy was the party leader for a short time.
An anti-communist, O'Duffy was attracted to various anti-communist movements on the continent. He raised the Irish Brigade to fight for Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War as an act of Catholic solidarity and was inspired by Benito Mussolini's Italy to found the National Corporate Party. During World War II, he offered to Nazi Germany the prospect of raising an Irish Brigade to participate in the fight against the Soviet Union, but this was not taken up.
O'Duffy was active in multiple sporting bodies, including the GAA and the Irish Olympic Council.
O'Duffy as Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, 1922
|Leader of Fine Gael|
4 May 1933 – 16 June 1934
|Preceded by||New office|
|Succeeded by||W. T. Cosgrave|
30 September 1922 – 4 February 1933
|Preceded by||Michael Staines|
|Succeeded by||Eamon Broy|
May 1921 – August 1923
28 January 1890
Lough Egish, County Monaghan, Ireland
|Died||30 November 1944 (aged 54)|
|Resting place||Glasnevin Cemetery,|
Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland
|Political party||Sinn Féin (1917–1922)|
Fine Gael (1933–1934)
National Corporate Party (1935–1937)
Irish Republican Brotherhood
Irish Republican Army
|Years of service||1917–1933|
Chief of Staff
|Battles/wars||Irish War of Independence|
Irish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
Eoin O'Duffy was born Owen Duffy in Lough Egish, near Castleblayney, County Monaghan, on 28 January 1890. He was the youngest of seven children and attended Laggan national school. His mother died when he was 12 and he wore her ring for the rest of his life.
O'Duffy was a leading member of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ulster. He was appointed secretary of the Ulster Provincial Council in 1912. He later served as Treasurer of the GAA Ulster Council from 1921 to 1934. His important role in developing the GAA in Ulster is memorialised by the O'Duffy Terrace at the principal provincial stadium, St Tiernach's Park in Clones, County Monaghan. In December 2009 a plaque was erected in memory of O'Duffy in Aughnamullen. The plaque was unveiled by the President of the Ulster GAA Council, Tom Daly.
He was also a member of Harps' Gaelic football club.
As well as being a prominent figure in Ulster GAA he was also active in other sports. He was President of the Irish Amateur Handball Association from 1926–34, the National Athletic and Cycling Association from 1931–34 (which he founded in 1922), and the Irish Olympic Council from 1931–32.
O'Duffy believed in the ideal of "cleaned manliness". He said sport "cultivates in a boy habits of self-control [and] self-denial" and promotes "the cleanest and most wholesome of the instincts of youth". He said a lack of sport caused some boys to have "failed to keep their athleticism, but became weedy youths, smoking too soon, drinking too soon".
On 15 February 1920, he (along with Ernie O'Malley) was involved in the first capture of a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks by the IRA in Ballytrain, in his native Monaghan. He came to the attention of Michael Collins, who enrolled him in the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and supported his advancement in the movement's hierarchy.
He was imprisoned several times but became director of the army in 1921. In May 1921 he was returned as a Sinn Féin TD for the Monaghan constituency to the Second Dáil. He was re-elected at the 1922 general election.
In March 1921, he was made commander of the IRA's 2nd Northern Division. Following the Truce with the British in July 1921, he was sent to Belfast. After the rioting known as Belfast's Bloody Sunday, he was given the task of liaising with the British to try to maintain the Truce and defend Catholic areas against attack. He was Director of Organisation in Ulster and Chief Liaison officer for Ulster at the time the treaty was signed.
In 1921 he supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty. He served as a general in the National Army and was given control of the South-Western Command. In the ensuing Irish Civil War he was one of the architects behind the Free State's strategy of seaborne landings in Republican-held areas. He took Limerick for the Free State in July 1922, before being held up in the Battle of Killmallock south of the city. The enmities of the civil war era were to stay with O'Duffy throughout his political career.
In September 1922, Minister for Home Affairs Kevin O'Higgins was experiencing indiscipline within the recently formed Garda Síochána and O'Duffy was appointed Garda Commissioner after resigning from the army in order to take up the position. O'Duffy was a fine organiser and has been given much of the credit for the emergence of a largely respected, non-political and unarmed police force. He insisted on a Catholic ethos to distinguish the Gardaí from their Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) predecessors, and regularly told members of the force they were not just men working an ordinary job, but policemen fulfilling their religious duty. He was also a vocal opponent of alcohol in the force, instructing Gardaí to avoid it all costs.
In February, following a general election in 1933 Éamon de Valera dismissed O'Duffy as Garda Commissioner. In the Dáil de Valera explained the reason for his dismissal, stating "[O'Duffy] was likely to be biased in his attitude because of past political affiliations". The true reason, however, appears to have been the new government's discovery that in 1932, O'Duffy's was one of the voices urging W. T. Cosgrave to resort to a military coup rather than to turn over power to the incoming Fianna Fáil administration. O'Duffy refused the offer of another position of equivalent rank in the public service. Ernest Blythe said many years later that the outgoing Government had become so alarmed by O'Duffy's conduct that had they returned to power they would have also acted as De Valera did and dismissed O'Duffy as Garda Commissioner.
In July 1933 O'Duffy became leader of the Army Comrades Association, an organisation set up to protect Cumann na nGaedheal public meetings, which had been disrupted under the slogan "No Free Speech for Traitors" by Irish Republican Army members newly confident after the elections. O'Duffy and many other conservative elements within the Irish Free State began to embrace fascist ideology, which was in vogue at that time. He soon changed the name of this new movement to the National Guard. An admirer of the Italian leader Benito Mussolini, O'Duffy and his organisation adopted outward symbols of European fascism such as the straight-arm Roman salute and a distinctive blue uniform. It was not long before they became known as the Blueshirts, similar to the Italian Blackshirts and the German Brownshirts.
In August 1933 a parade was planned by the Blueshirts in Dublin to commemorate Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, both of whom had died 11 years earlier. This was an imitation of Mussolini's March on Rome and was perceived as such despite contrary claims. De Valera feared a similar coup d'état as seen in Italy and the parade was banned.
By September the Blueshirts were declared an illegal organisation. To circumvent this ban the movement once again adopted a new name, this time styling itself the League of Youth. In 1933 a group of Irish republicans, one member of which was Dan Keating, planned to assassinate O'Duffy in Ballyseedy, County Kerry, while he would be on his way to a meeting. A man was sent to Limerick to find out which car O'Duffy would be travelling in but the man purposely gave false information and O'Duffy escaped.
During the early stages of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in 1935 O'Duffy offered Benito Mussolini the service of 1000 Blueshirts because he believed the war represented the struggle between civilisation and barbarism. On 18 September, in an interview he said that the Blueshirts were volunteering to fight "not for Italy or against Abyssinia, but for the principle of the corporate system" against which "the forces of both Marxism and of capitalism" were ranged.
In September 1933 Cumann na nGaedheal, the Centre Party and the Blueshirt movement merged to form Fine Gael. O'Duffy, though not a TD, became the first leader, with former President of the Executive Council W. T. Cosgrave serving as parliamentary leader and Vice-President. The National Guard, now rechristened the Young Ireland Association, was transformed from an illegal paramilitary group into the militant wing of a political party. However, meetings were often attacked by IRA members. O'Duffy proved an unsuitable leader: he was a soldier rather than a politician, and was temperamental. His Fine Gael colleagues were embarrassed by the Blueshirts use of violence, in addition to O'Duffy's connections with foreign fascist organisations and his view of the IRA as a communist group. In September 1934 he suddenly and unexpectedly resigned as leader of Fine Gael.
The Blueshirt movement had begun to disintegrate also, so much so that the organisation no longer existed by 1935. In June 1935 O'Duffy launched the National Corporate Party, a fascist political party inspired by Italy's Mussolini.The following year he organised an Irish Brigade to fight for Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He was motivated to do so by Ireland's historic link with Spain, his devout anti-communism and a will to defend Catholicism.
Despite the Irish Government advising against participation in the war, 700 of O'Duffy's followers went to Spain to fight on Franco's side. He later stated he had received over 7,000 applications but several complications meant only 700 of these made it to Spain. O'Duffy's men saw little fighting and were sent home by Franco, returning in June 1937. Franco had not been impressed by the Brigade's lack of military expertise and there were bitter arguments among O'Duffy and his officers about the direction of the Brigade.
O'Duffy returned to Ireland from Spain in disarray. He wrote a book, Crusade in Spain (1938), about the Irish Brigade in Spain. The book had antisemitic undertones; O'Duffy wrote that trade unions are "powerful political Jewish-Masonic organisations, directed and focused by the Communist International." He later congratulated General Franco for winning the Spanish Civil War; Franco thanked O'Duffy for his sending congratulations "on the victory of the Spanish Army in defence of Christianity, occidental civilisation and humanity, over the forces of destruction and disorder."
In 1936 O'Duffy attended the founding meeting of Cumann Poblachta na hEireann but never became a member. In 1939 The Irish Times reported that O'Duffy and his followers were trying to set up a new organisation however nothing materialised. He was subsequently put under surveillance by the G2. In February 1939 he met up with Oskar Pfaus, a German spy whom he put in touch with the IRA. He also met the Italian diplomat Vincenzo Beradis. He is thought to have met with IRA figures and members of the German consulate in the summer of 1939. In the summer of 1943 O'Duffy approached the German Legation in Dublin with an offer to organise an Irish Volunteer Legion for use on the Eastern Front. He explained his offer to the German ambassador as a wish to "save Europe from Bolshevism". He requested an aircraft to be sent from Germany so that he could conduct the necessary negotiations in Berlin. The offer was "not taken seriously". By this time his health had begun to seriously deteriorate; he died on 30 November 1944, aged 54. He received a state funeral. Following Requiem Mass in St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, he was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Events from the year 1933 in Ireland.1944 in Ireland
Events from the year 1944 in Ireland.Blueshirts
The Army Comrades Association (ACA), later the National Guard, then Young Ireland and finally League of Youth, but better known by the nickname The Blueshirts (Irish: Na Léinte Gorma), was a paramilitary movement in the Irish Free State in the early 1930s. The organisation provided physical protection for political groups such as Cumann na nGaedheal from intimidation and attack by the anti-Treaty IRA. Some former members went on to fight for the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. (It had been dissolved before the civil war started.)
Most of the political parties whose meetings the Blueshirts protected would merge to become Fine Gael, and members of that party are still sometimes nicknamed "Blueshirts".Cumann Poblachta na hÉireann
Cumann Poblachta na hÉireann (Irish pronunciation: [kˠumʷənˠ pʷɔbʷɫəxt̪ˠə n̪ˠə heːɾʲən̪ˠ]; English: Republican Society of Ireland) was a political party established by the Irish Republican Army in 1936. It existed until 1937.
It was founded in Barry's Hotel, Dublin, on 7 March 1936, and decided to adopt a policy of absenteeism with regard to taking its seats in Dáil Éireann and the Parliament of Northern Ireland.The party was led by prominent IRA members. Paddy McLogan served as party chairman; former IRA chief of staff Andy Cooney was another leading member. Madge Daly (sister of Ned Daly and Kathleen Clarke), Fionna Plunkett (sister of Joseph Plunkett), Seán MacBride, Joseph P. Brennan, Peadar O'Donnell and Moss Twomey were also members. General Eoin O'Duffy attended the founding meeting but never became a member.In 1936, during the legislative period of the 8th Dáil, the party ran two candidates in by-elections:
In the Galway by-election, held in the Galway constituency on 13 August 1936, Count Plunkett ran as a joint Cumann Poblachta na hÉireann/Sinn Féin candidate. Losing his deposit, he polled 2,696 votes (a 4.09 percent share of the vote).In the Wexford by-election, held in the Wexford constituency on 17 August 1936, Stephen Hayes polled 1,301 votes (a 2.85 percent share of the vote) and lost his deposit.Daniel Hogan (general)
Daniel Hogan (born 1895) was Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces from March 1927 to February 1929.Eamonn Coogan
Eamonn Coogan or Ned Coogan (1896 – 22 January 1948) was an Irish Fine Gael politician, barrister and Deputy Commissioner of the Garda Síochána. He was born in Castlecomer, County Kilkenny. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kilkenny constituency at the 1944 general election. He died during the 1948 general election campaign. His son is the author Tim Pat Coogan.
He was friends with David Neligan. Eoin O'Duffy was best man at his wedding.During the Irish War of Independence, Coogan and another man were ordered by Michael Collins to kill two young women who had been passing on information to the police. Coogan did not shoot them because he thought they were "very young and very beautiful".He had been fired as Deputy Garda Commissioner in 1936 after an altercation with the general manager of The Irish Press but he remained in the force and held the rank of chief superintendent until he was forced to retire in 1941.Following his sacking he worked as a barrister and as the General Secretary of Fine Gael.Fascist paramilitary
A fascist paramilitary is a fighting force - whether armed, unarmed, or merely symbolic - that is independent of regular military command and is established for the defence and advancement of a movement that adheres to the radical nationalist ideology of fascism. Since fascism is such a militarist ideology, there are very few varieties of fascism where paramilitaries do not play a central role, and some kind of paramilitary participation is almost always a basic requirement of membership in fascist movements. Fascist paramilitaries have seen action in both peacetime and wartime. Most fascist paramilitaries wear political uniforms, and many have taken their names from the colours of their uniforms.
The first fascist paramilitary was the Blackshirts of Italian Fascism led by Benito Mussolini. While many of the Blackshirts were former members of the Arditi who had fought in World War I or the Fascio of the immediate post-war years, the most direct inspiration for the first fascist paramilitary was Giuseppe Garibaldi's Redshirts.
A number of other fascist movements established paramilitaries modelled after the Italian original, most notably Nazism with its Sturmabteilung and Schutzstaffel. Others include:
in Ireland, in the 1930s, the Blueshirts under Eoin O'Duffy
the gold shirts and the Red Shirts of 1930s Mexico
the Greenshirts of Brazilian Integralism
the Heimwehr in Austria, in the 1920s and 1930s
the Legionary Greenshirts of the Romanian Iron Guard
Iron Wolf (organization)
National Union (Portugal)Several fascist movements took their cue from the Sturmabteilung rather than the Blackshirts, such as the Greyshirts in South Africa and the Silver Legion of America. Following the Axis invasion of Albania, the occupation forces formed the Albanian Militia under the Blackshirts. Several fascist paramilitaries were active in Romania including the Lăncieri.
Some fascist movements have also established paramilitary youth organizations such as the Hitler Youth or the Mocidade Portuguesa.
A number of fascist paramilitaries have been deployed in conventional warfare. For example, in the later years of World War II the Italian Blackshirts developed into the Black Brigades. Likewise, the combat wing of the Schutzstaffel, the Waffen-SS, fought in many major battles of World War II. The Einsatzgruppen were death squads active in Eastern Europe which carried out the Holocaust and other political killings. In an act of desperation, the Nazis deployed remnants of the Hitler Youth and Sturmabteilung against the Red Army in the Battle of Berlin. At the eleventh hour of the war, the Nazis laid plans for a guerrilla resistance movement they called the Werwolf. However, these plans amounted to little more than a handful of sabotages and assassinations which were ineffective.
Neo-Nazis have used the white power skinhead scene as a recruitment base for neofascist paramilitaries like Combat 18. Soccer hooliganism throughout Europe is another source of recruits. Some groups in the white supremacist wing of the militia movement in the United States can be seen as neofascist paramilitaries.Greenshirts (National Corporate Party)
The Greenshirts were members of the fascist National Corporate Party (NCP) in Ireland in the 1930s. The NCP was founded by Eoin O'Duffy after he broke from the Fine Gael party in 1935. The Greenshirts were different from the better known Blueshirts, O'Duffy's followers before he left Fine Gael. Only eighty of the Blueshirts later became Greenshirts. It was an influence to a later fascist party, Ailtirí na hAiséirghe.
In 1936 O'Duffy led a volunteer Irish Brigade to fight for the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, and retired on his return in 1937. Without him, both the Greenshirts and NCP faded away.Irish Brigade
Irish Brigade may refer to:
Irish Brigade (France), the Jacobite brigade in the French army, 1690–1792
Catholic Irish Brigade (1794–1798), a British Army unit
Irish Brigade (U.S.), pro-Union Civil War brigade of Irish immigrants
Tyneside Irish Brigade, World War I British Army brigade of Irish immigrants in Newcastle upon Tyne
Irish Brigade (Spanish Civil War), organised by Eoin O'Duffy to fight for Franco's Nationalists
The Irish Brigade (band), an Irish punk rock groupIrish Brigade (Spanish Civil War)
The Irish Brigade (Spanish: Brigada Irlandesa, "Irish Brigade" Irish: Briogáid na hÉireann) fought on the Nationalist side of Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. The unit was formed wholly of Roman Catholics by the politician Eoin O'Duffy, who had previously organised the banned quasi-fascist Blueshirts and openly fascist Greenshirts in Ireland. Despite the declaration by the Irish government that participation in the war was unwelcome and ill-advised, 700 of O'Duffy's followers went to Spain. They saw their primary role in Spain as fighting for the Roman Catholic Church, which had come under attack by the Red Terror. They also saw many religious and historical parallels in the two nations, and hoped to prevent communism gaining ground in Spain.James FitzGerald-Kenney
James FitzGerald-Kenney (1 January 1878 – 21 October 1956) was an Irish politician and Senior Counsel. He was first elected at the June 1927 general election as a Cumann na nGaedheal Teachta Dála (TD) for the Mayo constituency. He was appointed to the Cabinet in his first year in Dáil Éireann as Minister for Justice.Kevin O'Higgins
Kevin Christopher O'Higgins (Irish: Caoimhghín Críostóir Ó hUigín; 7 June 1892 – 10 July 1927) was an Irish politician who served as Vice-President of the Executive Council and Minister for Justice from 1922 to 1927, Minister for External Affairs from June 1927 to July 1927 and Minister for Economic Affairs from January 1922 to September 1922. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1921 to 1927. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Queen's County from 1918 to 1921.He was part of early nationalist Sinn Féin, before going on to become a prominent member of Cumann na nGaedheal. In his capacity as Minister for Justice, O'Higgins established the Garda Síochána police force. His brother Thomas and nephews Tom and Michael were also elected TDs at various stages.
Along with Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Eoin O'Duffy, O'Higgins is an important figure in Irish nationalist historiography, representing a more "conservative revolutionary" position when contrasted with republicanism. After having a role in the Irish War of Independence, he went on to defend the nascent Irish Free State, as part of the pro-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War. During this time he signed the execution orders of seventy-seven political prisoners. He was later assassinated in retaliation by an IRA unit in Booterstown, County Dublin.Leader of Fine Gael
The Leader of Fine Gael is the most senior politician within the Fine Gael political party in Ireland. Since 2 June 2017, the office has been held by Leo Varadkar following the resignation of Enda Kenny.
The Deputy Leader of Fine Gael is Simon Coveney.Monaghan (Dáil constituency)
Monaghan was a parliamentary constituency represented in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament or Oireachtas from 1921 to 1977. The constituency elected 3 deputies (Teachtaí Dála, commonly known as TDs) to the Dáil, using the single transferable vote form of proportional representation (PR-STV).National Corporate Party
The National Corporate Party (Irish: Páirtí Náisiúnta Corparáidíoch, PNC) was a fascist political party in Ireland founded by General Eoin O'Duffy in June 1935 at a meeting of 500. It split from Fine Gael when O'Duffy was removed as leader of that party, which had been founded by the merger of O'Duffy's Blueshirts, formally known as the National Guard or Army Comrades Association, with Cumann na nGaedheal, and the National Centre Party.The National Corporate Party wished to establish a corporate state in Ireland and was strongly anti-communist. Its military wing was the Greenshirts. The party raised funds through public dances. Unlike the Blueshirts, whose aim had been the establishment of a corporate state while remaining within the British Commonwealth in order to appease moderates within Fine Gael, the National Corporate Party was committed to the establishment of a republic outside of the British Empire with O'Duffy presenting his party as the true successor to the ideals of the Easter Rising. The party also committed itself to the preservation and promotion of the Irish language and Gaelic culture, something that would be echoed by a later fascist party in Ireland, Ailtirí na hAiséirghe.It failed to gain much support however, with the majority of Fine Gael members remaining loyal to that party and O'Duffy only securing a handful of loyal supporters for his group.O'Duffy left Ireland in 1936 to become involved in the Spanish Civil War, a fact which led to further decline in the National Corporate Party. The party was defunct by 1937.O'Duffy
O'Duffy is the surname of:
Eimar O'Duffy (1893-1935), member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and writer
Eoin O'Duffy (1892-1944), Irish Republican Army Chief of Staff, soldier and police commissioner
Paul Staveley O'Duffy (born 1963), British music producer
Seán O'Duffy (1888-1985), Irish sports administrator of women's camogiePioneer Total Abstinence Association
The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart (PTAA) is an international organisation for Roman Catholic teetotallers that is based in Ireland. Its members are commonly called Pioneers. While the PTAA does not advocate prohibition, it does require of its members complete abstinence from alcoholic drink. It also encourages devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as an aid to resisting the temptation of alcohol. Pioneers wear a lapel pin called a Pioneer pin with an image of the Sacred Heart, both to advertise the organisation and to alert others not to offer them alcohol. The association publishes a monthly magazine, The Pioneer.Riversdale
Riversdale was the last home of William Butler Yeats. It is located in the Dublin suburb of Rathfarnham off the Ballyboden Road.
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