Vandals deface memorial statue of republican leader Seán Russell

 

A MEMORIAL statue of republican leader Seán Russell, which was erected in Fairview Park Dublin just over a week ago, has been defaced by graffiti proclaiming him to have been a nazi.

The bronze statue had been erected to replace a stone one which had been beheaded four years ago by vandals claiming to be part of an anti-fascist organisation. The new statue was discovered yesterday morning to have been sprayed with slogans such as “nazi scum”.

Russell, a veteran of the 1916 Rising and chief of staff of the IRA during the Emergency, died on board a German U-boat in 1944.

The National Graves Association, which erected the statue, said Russell had been in Germany seeking arms and funds for the IRA. “Seán Russell was no fascist. He was in Germany to seek aid on the basis that England’s difficulty was Ireland’s opportunity. He had also gone to Russia in 1926 – that doesn’t make him a communist,” Matt Doyle of the National Graves Association said.

A previous statue was vandalised in the 1950s by a right-wing group who had thought he was a communist, Mr Doyle said.