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Monday, August 21, 2006 


Searchlight Magazine has an interesting article up:
"Author: By Scott Millar | Date: August 2006

Ex-Provo gives new life to Irish clerical fascism
A former senior Provisional IRA member, who until 2003 sat on Sinn Fein’s national executive, is reorganising the extreme nationalist right in Ireland by attempting a takeover of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the largely moribund marching organisation seen as the Catholic equivalent of the Orange Order.

Gerry McGeough, 47, from Tyrone, now living in Dublin, has been described by the FBI as a “dedicated terrorist” and “senior commander” in the IRA. He makes no secret of his Provisional IRA past and his extreme anti-gay and pro-traditional Catholic views. McGeough is believed to have served on the PIRA’s “headquarters staff” and overseen its international arms buying and military operations during the early 1980s. He has served eight years in total in American and German prisons, awaiting trial for an IRA attack on a British barracks in Germany in 1988 and attempts to purchase surface-to-air missiles in the US. Until recently he was the editor of the large circulation Irish Catholic newspaper the Irish Family.

Now he has turned his attentions to saving Ireland from “sodomy” and immigration and returning it to “Catholic Faith and Gaelic Heritage“. In May McGeough, as editor, and Charles Byrne, a 28-year-old from Drogheda, launched a monthly magazine called The Hibernian, dedicated to “Faith, Family and Country”. Seemingly well funded and run from premises in the border town of Drogheda, the magazine acts as a publicity vehicle for McGeough and the extreme right in Ireland. Some of its contributors are associated with Youth Defence, an extreme anti-abortion group, and the Society of Pope Pius X, others are those attempting to infiltrate and take over the AOH.

In recent months local newspapers in rural southern Ireland and the border area have carried advertisements for those interested in joining a revitalised AOH which is to focus on the promotion of so-called “Hibernian” values. McGeough says that a significant number of persons associated with his brand of homophobia and extreme Catholicism have now been recruited into existing AOH “divisions”, the term for local units of the organisation, and have formed new “divisions” in Dublin and other areas of Ireland. "
Fine. Just the usual run-of-the-mill letter writers to the Irish Times, surely?
"The first outing of McGeough’s new look AOH was a televised speech on 26 May by Michael McDowell, the Irish Minister for Justice, on civil partnerships for same-sex couples. The speech was interrupted when a jug of water, a number of cups and copies of the Irish constitution were thrown at the minister by eight men in the audience who accused him of seeking to pervert Irish children. The men, who were eventually escorted from the building, identified themselves to the media as members of the AOH. On the same day the website of The Hibernian carried a press release stating: “We, the General Tom Barry Division No. 1975 AOH, Cork and the Naomh Lorc O’Tuathail Division No. 31 AOH, Dublin, wish to state that we carried out today’s protest at the launch of a conference on homosexual ‘marriage’
However not all in the AOH were supportive of the actions of some of their new members. A week later Tony Carroll, the AOH public relations officer, said: “We saw the pictures on TV and everybody was amazed at what went on”. He pledged further to investigate the disruption and take “appropriate action”. However McGeough believes the days of mere charity work by the AOH are numbered. He said, in a taped interview forwarded to Searchlight: “I am part of a new group of people in the organisation who want to take a more pro-active stance on Catholic issues. If the leadership have a problem with Catholic teachings, then they should take it up with the Pope. The organisation which was moribund for years under that leadership is now attracting huge numbers of new people. We only have a convention every three years. but I believe we will see a radical shake-up at the next election.”"
We believe that Suzy has already encountered this lot. Unsurprisingly, there's also a Justin Barrett connection:
"The former terrorist first emerged as a figure on the Irish extreme right when he accompanied Justin Barrett on a lecture tour of Irish towns in March 2004 in support of Barrett’s bid for election to the European Parliament.
When confronted by video film of brown-shirted skinheads marching with neo-nazi flags through the conference on national television, days before the second Nice referendum, Barrett’s defence that he was unaware of the nature of the meetings became a national joke.

It was during this period that McGeough, then acting as organiser of the Sinn Fein anti-Nice campaign, became involved with Barrett and his cohorts. The two are still in close political contact although McGeough says he does not agree with Barrett’s vocal opposition to immigration.
So what's McGeough's current relationship to the Shinners?
Because of his IRA activities McGeough had a strong following among some Provo supporters. He was elected to the Sinn Fein national executive in 1999 while studying history in Trinity College. He became the party’s national campaigns organiser in 2001 and remained on the executive until 2003. During that time he, along with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness, led Sinn Fein election campaigns and toured the country addressing republicans on behalf of the party.

The former terrorist is scathing of his former comrades in the leadership of Sinn Fein. In the Searchlight interview McGeough said: “Sinn Fein has been heavily infiltrated by homosexual activists and British double agents in recent years. A lot of republicans can’t fathom the liberal values of the leadership. They do not understand why they are pursuing a liberal British agenda. Immigration is a massive concern and there are a lot of people who are not happy with the level of immigration.” "
No love lost there, we guess. And then we were drawn to a familiar name:
"The only two websites that have links to [McGeough-edited magazine] The Hibernian are “Irish nationalism”, an openly racist site, and the “Irish Bulletin”. The second site, which has a banner proclaiming “Dispatches from the battle to defend Irish unity, culture, tradition and orthodoxy”, is the only outlet that initially promoted The Hibernian. It also carries “news” reports similar in content and style to those on The Hibernian’s website. Under the heading “European Nationalist Movements and Philosophies” the Irish Bulletin has links to the websites of Forza Nuovo, the International Third Position publication Final Conflict and the neo-nazi National Democratic Party of Germany among other extremist groups."
Searchlight goes on to further elucidate on the love-in. While there hasn't been any even half-serious fascist movement here since the days of the pre-Fine Gael Blueshirts, this lot (the somewhat further-out section of Irish wingnuttia) still bear keeping an eye on for mischief.

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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