Gardaí detain Irish 'fascist' sympathisers


The Garda Síochána identified what it believed to be a small band of fascist sympathisers in Co Cork during the second World War but concluded “the movement is of no consequence and . . . will not get any following in this area”.

Seven Bandon residents were identified as favouring “the promotion of a Fascist state in this country” in a 1940 document labelled “secret”and declassified with the State papers.

These included a former TD Tom Hales, an ex-IRA volunteer and friend of Michael Collins. A search of one of the homes in Bandon found over 30 pamphlets of German propaganda.

Other files show gardaí were concerned about a group called Irish Friends of Germany which held a meeting in a private residence in Dundrum, Dublin, in April 1940. Nine people who attended were detained and interviewed, including a rent collector from Mount Merrion and his wife; a schoolteacher from Lower Abbey Street; and an Irish Times employee living in Glasnevin.

Most claimed they were unaware of the group’s objectives. But the Garda commissioner recommended the internment of the meeting’s host, regarded as “one of the live wires in this new movement”.