By Fearghal McGarry
Eoin O'Duffy was once some of the most arguable figures of recent Irish background. a pacesetter of the Irish revolution, and protГ©gГ© of Michael Collins, he commanded the Irish police and security forces, earlier than rising as Ireland's major fascist baby-kisser within the Nineteen Thirties. A crusading moralist, passionate about the necessity to counter public immorality, and a closet gay and alcoholic, O'Duffy's notable lifestyles was once characterized by means of self-aggrandisement, fable, and contradiction.
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Extra resources for Eoin O'Duffy: A Self-Made Hero
The young men of the county could assemble in a public meeting to band themselves together in a military force . . ¹¹⁶ Long-held sectarian grievances also played their part, the county council chairman recalling ‘the time when his father would not get one perch of ground in the district where he lived not while there was any Orangeman to take it’. O’Duffy, who did not speak at the meeting or join the resulting organizing committee, appears to have been an interested but passive witness to this significant revolutionary moment.
Authority came easily to O’Duffy, his idealization of military life evident in his bearing and demeanour which imitated the obvious role model of the British officer. ³² Even in these early years he cultivated a stern public persona at odds with his more garrulous personality. ³⁴ This assessment is supported by the testimony of the many Volunteers who were interviewed by three local priests in the 1960s for a local history of the war. Their unpublished and remarkably frank interviews, known as the Marron papers, form the most valuable source for this period of O’Duffy’s life.
The president of the Volunteers, Eoin MacNeill, responded in an appropriately conciliatory fashion, commending Redmond’s efforts to win Home Rule but insisting on the necessity of the militia to ensure its enactment. The meeting demonstrated the radicalizing impact of events in Ulster. MacNeill described the opportunity granted them ‘by the action of their opponents’ as ‘a special favour from God almighty’. The county secretary, a friend of O’Duffy, enthused: ‘People never dreamt that the day would come when .
Eoin O'Duffy: A Self-Made Hero by Fearghal McGarry