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08-06-2021 | Forum Article: A Tale of Two Republics: Ireland and the Spanish Civil War | Issue 2/2021

Society 2/2021

Ireland’s Quixotic Cruzada: the Irish and the Spanish Civil War

Journal:
Society > Issue 2/2021
Authors:
John Rodden, John Rossi
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Abstract

The Spanish Civil War has attracted historical interest because of its role as a precursor to World War II. The Irish role in that conflict is a revealing commentary on political developments in Ireland in the 1930s. General Eoin O’Duffy, a hero of the Irish War of Independence, attempted to use Irish involvement in the Spanish conflict as a way of enhancing his reputation. He took 700 Blueshirts to Spain to fight on the side of the General Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces where their performance was a disastrous failure. O’Duffy’s career and the memories of the Blue Shirts involvement in Spain left his reputation in tatters.

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