General Eoin O’Duffy

The Political Life of an Irish Firebrand

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About the Book

Although most of the prominent figures from Ireland’s revolutionary generation have been endlessly profiled and commemorated, the controversial General Eoin O’Duffy remains a pariah. Despite reaching the towering heights of leadership in the republican movement during the Irish revolutionary period and subsequently becoming a key state-builder in early independent Ireland as head of the national police force, O’Duffy’s legacy retains a whiff of sulphur. It has been undoubtedly tarnished by his controversial political career in the 1930s, including his leadership of the fascistic Blueshirts and his pro-Franco involvement in the Spanish Civil War.
Using a blend of well-charted and previously overlooked or unavailable material, this study examines the tumultuous periods of Ireland’s struggle for independence and the early Irish Free State by utilising a biographical lens. It foregrounds O’Duffy’s place within pro-Treaty Irish nationalism, as a militarist and supporter of Michael Collins who became a safe pair of hands relied upon to rescue the pro-Treaty regime during crises. It offers new interpretations on his involvement within international fascism and provides much needed nuance on the prevalence of crypto-fascist outlooks in the 1930s. It seeks to blow away the cobwebs of mythology and recalibrate our understanding of this most controversial Irishman.

About the Author(s)

Jack Traynor is an Irish Research Council-funded PhD candidate at the Department of History in Trinity College Dublin.

Bibliographic Details

Jack Traynor

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 5 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9326-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5133-0
Imprint: McFarland