Ailtiri Na Haiserghe and the Fascist 'New Order' in Ireland 1942-1958
Focuses on the popularity of anti-democratic, anti-Semitic and extremist ideas in wartime Ireland. This book is suitable for students of Irish history and of comparative fascism.
In the early 1940s many people in Ireland expected Nazi Germany to win the Second World War. According to secret Irish government assessments, most wanted her to. After the fall of France and with Britain trembling on the brink of defeat, democracy seemed likely to disappear from Europe. But if this happened, how should newly-independent Ireland - a country that had remained neutral in the war - respond to what appeared to be an emerging post-democratic world order? Gearoid Cuinneagain, a young pro-Axis activist, had an answer. In 1942 he founded Ailtiri na hAiseirghe ('Architects of the Resurrection'), a fascist movement that aimed to destroy the infant Irish democracy and replace it with a one-party totalitarian state. But Ailtiri na hAiseirghe was no Nazi imitator. Rather, it aimed at something far more ambitious: the fusion of totalitarianism and Christianity that would make Ireland a 'missionary-ideological state' wielding global influence in the postwar era. Supported by idealistic youths and mainstream politicians like Ernest Blythe, Oliver J.; Flanagan and Dan Breen - and scrutinized anxiously by British and American intelligence - Aiseirghe won several seats in the 1945 local government elections. But a devastating split, just as it seemed poised to make a political breakthrough, reversed its fortunes and put an end to Cuinneagain's once-promising career as a would-be Irish fuhrer. "Architects of the Resurrection" casts an uncomfortable light on the popularity of anti-democratic, anti-Semitic and extremist ideas in wartime Ireland. Students of Irish history and of comparative fascism will find many new insights in this book.
List of plates and maps Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Anti-democratic influences in Ireland, 1919-1939 2. 'New' and 'newer' orders 3. The ideology of Aiserghe 4. The green totalitarian band 5. Democratic deficit 6. Autumn of discontent 7. The 'Cunningham Circus' Conclusion Bibliography Index