Monday, 21 February 2011

More on Sean South

On 9 February I posted about Sean South, who was killed during an IRA attack on Brookeborough RUC station in January 1957 and who is eulogised and commemorated every year by Sinn Fein.

I have just received  a copy of an article about Sean South that was written by Sean Gannon and appeared in the Winter 2010 edition of The Old Limerick Journal.  The article is entitled 'Schools of Corruption:' The Contexts for Sean South's Antisemitism.

The atricle, which has been thoroughly researched and documented, exposes the extremism of Sean South and also the sources that contibuted to that extremism.  I have reproduced below the first and last paragraphs.

Sean South's elevation to the Republican pantheon after his death during an IRA raid on Brookeborough RUC station in January 1957, coupled with his well-documented reputation as a kind and courteous individual, 'in manner and bearing always a gentleman,' a 'shy, gentle-natured, even-tempered' young man who 'never raised his voice, never got angry or annoyed [and] never complained' perhaps explains what appears to be a reluctance on the part of recent biogrpahers to engage with one of the most troubling aspects of his ideology - his antipathy towards Jews.  This antipathy can only be properly understood by examining it through the context of South's involvement with extermist organisations of the 1940s and 1950s, most notably Maria Duce.

Sean South's antisemitism was therefore shaped by the same 'emotive and militant cocktail of language, history and religion' that, according to Barry Flynn, led him to Brookeborough in 1957.  In pursuing the 'three loves in his life; the Irish language, Irish history and the Catholic Church,' he aligned himself with extremist fringes of each, organisations such as Ailtiri na hAiseirghe, Maria Duce and the IRA which became for him the 'schools of corruption' through which he was instructed in contemporary antisemitic philosophy.
Sean Gannon records Sean South's involvement with Maria Duce and also  his association with Ailtiri na hAiseirghe (Architects of the Resurgence), which he describes as 'a proto-fascist Gaelic revivalist political organisation formed in May 1942 by Gearoid O'Cuinneagain, a Dublin-based tax consultant and prime mover in a number of Irish pro-Axis groups.'  I will return to this organisation in a further post.

Some folk criticised my earlier post on Sean South and subsequent posts about Sean Russell and suggested that I was motivated by unionist prejudice  However that criticism cannot be levelled at Sean Gannon or the publishers of The Old Limerick Journal.  I welcome this article which helps to open up an era that Sinn Fein would prefer to forget.

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