Gearóid Ó Cuinneagáin

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Gearóid Ó Cuinneagáin (born Gerald Cunningham[1]; 1910–1991) was an Irish far right politician born in Belfast in present-day Northern Ireland.[2]

Political activities[edit]

He originally worked as a tax clerk in the Department of Finance before resigning when refused leave to improve his Irish.[3]

In 1937 he called for an alliance between the Irish Free State and Italy against their enemy the United Kingdom. When World War 2 started he was a leading member of the secretive subversive movements like Clann na Saoirse and the Irish Friends of Germany/Cumann Náisiúnta to prepare the ground for a German invasion.[2]

In 1940 he founded a branch of Conradh na Gaeilge called 'Craobh na hAiséirghe' (‘Branch of the Resurrection’). The branch was meant to be a Hitler Youth-like body which would eventually take over the whole organisation. This mirrored the tactics used by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Eventually it gained about 1,200 to 1,500 members, however not all members were fascists. Pádraig Ó hUiginn, secretary of the Department of An Taoiseach and head of Bord Fáilte recalls having been asked by de Valera, ‘who asked me bluntly, “Is this a political organisation?” I assured him that it wasn’t.’[2]

He founded Ailtirí na hAiséirghe which had some influence for a short time in the 1940s. The party's aims included the banning of English spoken in public, the total revival of the Irish language across Ireland, the removal of Jews from Irish society, the rejection of Partition and the installation of a Catholic-based dictatorship.[4] He wanted Ireland to become an imperialist power. In early 1942 he said "Adolf Hitler said that he aimed to arrange the history of Europe for 1,000 years. But we Irish, it is fated for us to co-operate with arranging the affairs of the world for all eternity!"[2]

Notes[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Douglas, R. M. Architects of the Resurrection: Ailtirí na hAiséirghe and the Fascist 'New Order' in Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0-7190-7998-6
  • Mac Aonghusa, P. Ar Son na Gaeilge: Conradh na Gaeilge, 1893-1993. Baile Átha Cliath: Conradh na Gaeilge, 1993.