Sieg Fein have been criticized for continuing to name one of its branch's after Joe McGarrity Hitler supporter and Nazi collaborator who dreamed of Nazi occupation of Northern Ireland. Sieg Fein have stated that the addition of his name to that of the cumann was "in recognition of his historical contribution"...
McGarrity emigrated from Tyrone to the United States of America in 1892 and revived Clan na Gael, the American sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
In 1939 he worked with IRA leader Sean Russell in implementing the "S Plan" - a terrorist bombing campaign in Britain and one directed against civilian targets. In just one explosion - in Coventry - the IRA murdered five people.
McGarrity also collaborated directed with the Nazis and sought their support for the IRA. Indeed, he was the initial link between Irish republicanism and the Nazis. He met Nazi agents in America and travelled to Berlin, where he met Hermann Goring.
This led on to "Plan Kathleen" - a plan for a Nazi invasion of Northern Ireland, which would be supported by the IRA.
"While Ulstermen and Irishmen, Protestant and Roman Catholic, were fighting the Nazi war machine on the battlefields of Europe, Joe McGarrity was happy to work with the Nazis and seek their support.
"It is hard to believe that in this day and age any political party would honour someone like McGarrity who collaborated with the Nazis but that is the shameful reality for Sinn Fein.
"After her election, Orfhlaith Begley said that she was 'holding out an open hand in friendship' to unionists. So perhaps she will reflect on the name of her local Sinn Fein cumann and demand the removal of the name of a man whose association with the Nazis should be a source of shame."
It was in the US that initial IRA–Nazi contacts were established, with the Clan na Gael leader Joe McGarrity a key figure in building these links.
During 1938 the left-wing Irish Democrat noted that the Nazis were making efforts to win allies among Irish republicans in New York. Russell and McGarrity cooperated in launching a coup within the IRA during that year, overthrowing its established leadership and committing the organisation to a bombing campaign in Britain.
In July 1940 the IRA leadership issued a statement outlining its position on the war. The statement made clear that if ‘German forces should land in Ireland, they will land . . . as friends and liberators of the Irish people’. The public was assured that Germany desired neither ‘territory nor . . . economic penetration’ in Ireland but only that it should play its part in the ‘reconstruction’ of a ‘free and progressive Europe’. The Third Reich was also praised as the ‘energising force’ of European politics and the ‘guardian’ of national freedom.
That campaign, which was to begin with bombings of targets in Britain was the brainchild of Joseph McGarrity, the IRA’s key supporter in Irish America. It was through McGarrity that Russell first made contact with German intelligence. In October 1936 Russell wrote to the Nazi ambassador in Washington, offering IRA support in any future conflict between Germany and Britain. Indeed the promise of German financial and military aid was key to Russell winning control of the IRA.
Irish Republicanism and Nazi Germany | Queen's University Belfast
Stuart's Berlin sojourn and his role in fostering links between the IRA and the Nazis sheds light on a dark corner of Irish history. In the1940s, the IRA was allied to one of the most evil regimes in human history. Had they succeeded in their goal of uniting Ireland on the back of a Nazi victory, every man, woman and child would have become vassals of the Nazi empire. And, as Micheal Burleigh emphasises in his outstanding book on the Third Reich, Hitler planned to eliminate the Jews of Ireland as part of his maniacal project to destroy entirely the Jewish people.
Yet this collaboration with Nazism is rarely mentioned in the traditional nationalist narratives of the twentieth century. There are plenty of rousing, red-banner ballads to the handful of IRA volunteers who fought for the Spanish Republic; there are none commemorating the exploits of the likes of Sean Russell, the Nazi-collaborating IRA leader who died on a German submarine.
So p.ieters moi is sure we a will all agree that it is long past time that Sf/Ra stop eulogising a Nazi Collaborator and thereby its own links to one of the most evil regimes in human history...