Blueshirts Proclaimed Unlawful 1933

On this day in 1933 the Blueshirts were proclaimed as unlawful. Despite the Government's ban, the Blueshirts also known as the National Guard paraded throughout the country. In this clip President of the Executive Council (title later changed to Taoiseach in 1937) of Dáil Éireann Éamon de Valera denounces the Blue Shirts organisation.

While peace has reigned in Ireland for the last 18 months, de Valera identifies one of the aims of the Blueshirts as to overthrow representative government. Noting that the Irish have fought for centuries to gain control of their own affairs, they have not the least intention of surrendering that control to any dictator or militarist group. De Valera argues that the aims and methods of the "so-called national guard" are hateful to the vast majority of people. He continues that "the national guard will have to choose between disappearance or conversion in to a peaceful, non-military organisation".

This clip is taken from the programme "O'Duffy's Men" in which Maurice Manning traces the history of the Blueshirts in Ireland. The programme was first broadcast on 7 July 1974.

The accompanying image shows Eamon de Valera President of the Executive Council (1932). © RTÉ Archives 0504/093

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