#Otd 1933: Eoin O’Duffy became leader of the Army Comrades Association, set up to protect Cumann na nGaedheal public meetings, which had been disrupted by IRA. Later called National Guard, Young Ireland & finally League of Youth, but better known by the nickname The Blueshirts!
The Blueshirts were a paramilitary movement. Sept 1933 declared illegal. c 600 former members went on to fight for the Nationalists in Spanish Civil War ('36-9). Most political parties whose meetings they protected merged to become @FineGael; hence their "Blueshirts" nickname!
Eoin O'Duffy was an admirer of Italian Benito Mussolini. Hence the National Guard adopted outward symbols of European fascism such as the straight-arm Roman salute & a distinctive blue uniform! Nickname "Blueshirts" since similar to Italian Blackshirts & German Brownshirts!
August 1933, parade planned by Blueshirts in Dublin to commemorate Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith & Kevin O'Higgins. Imitation of Mussolini's 1922 March on Rome. De Valera feared similar coup d'état as seen in Italy & parade was banned. Instead there were provincial parades.
#Otd 1932: Army Comrades Association, 'The Blueshirts' formed. Semi-fascist paramilitary group, Cumann na nGaedheal bodyguards from attacks by anti-Treaty IRA. Sept 1932 >30,000 members! Merged to form @FineGael. Some went on to fight in Spanish Civil War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueshirts
#Otd 1933: The Army Comrades’ Association began wearing the distinctive blueshirt uniform. Most of political parties whose meetings the Blueshirts protected would merge to become Fine Gael, so members of that party still sometimes nicknamed "Blueshirts". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueshirts