Re: Ian O’Doherty’s article on Sean Russell statue.
Letter Page Editor
The latest criminal damage to the Sean Russell statue has to be condemned by all. The association has been inundated from members of the general public expressing their disgust and anger at the recent attack. Over the years there has been an orchestrated campaign by certain sections of the media to misinform the public regarding Sean Russell. These same colourful Pundits would have you believe Cromwell was good for Ireland as was Bomber Harris for Dresden, both immortalised in bronze in England. The monument to Harris was subjected to attacks by vandals soon after it was erected and for months it was guarded by police.
In Mr. O’Doherty’s article he makes reference to a debate on anti-Semitism. It is interesting to note that there is no mention of Eoin O’ Duffy’ BlueShirts or remarks made by leading Irish Politicians who openly supported the Blueshirts and the disgraceful persecution of the Jews. In 1934 John A Costello remarked “The Blackshirts have been victorious in Italy and Hitler’s Brownshirts have been victorious in Germany, as assuredly the Blueshirts will be victorious in Ireland”. Perhaps the most shocking is that of Olivier J Flanagan who in 1943 remarked in his maiden speech “There is one thing that Germany did and that was to rout the Jews out of their Country. Until we rout the Jews out of this country, it does not matter a hairs breadth what orders you make. Where the bees are there is honey, and where the Jews are there is money”. On the later it is worth noting the date.
The National Graves Association has never erected a monument to a Nazi or a collaborator in the persecution of the Jews. In 1984 the association erected a memorial to Tommy Patton who died in defence of the Republic, the Spanish Republic fighting against Franco’s and O’ Duffy’s Fascists. Indeed it was left to Sean Russell and others to disrupt Blueshirt meetings back here in Ireland. Sadly this year Bob Doyle (Last surviving Irish Member of the International Brigade) passed away. Bob Joined the I.R.A. after he was beaten up by O’Duffy’s Blueshirts. The injuries he received left permanent damage to one eye. The monument in Fairview Park is to Irish Republicans, Sean Russell and the men of the forties.
Finally, the National Graves Association did not request nor give permission to any group or organisation to clean the Sean Russell Statue. All repairs to N.G.A. memorials are carried out by skilled craftsmen from recognised monumental companies. The association is a voluntary organisation with no party affiliations.
National Graves Association
74 Dame Street