Secret propaganda unit plotted against John Hume and David Irving

IRD propagandist Hugh Mooney

A new article in the leftwing Irish magazine Village has alleged that the top secret British propaganda unit IRD (the Information Research Department) conspired against John Hume, the moderate Irish nationalist and civil rights activist who died on August 3rd this year.

The article names Hugh Mooney, a former Irish Times sub-editor, and his boss in London, IRD’s Special Operations Adviser Hans Welser.

Coincidentally, H&D has just published a two-part article naming Hans Welser as one of the organisers of a propaganda campaign against the British historian David Irving during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Welser began his propaganda career with the wartime Political Warfare Executive, responsible for numerous ‘dirty tricks’ and inventions designed to discredit and demoralise Germany, Italy and Japan during the Second World War.

Aspects of Britain’s secret wars – and their long-term consequences – are only now becoming partially exposed thanks to the release of long-secret official documents.

Issues 96 and 97 of H&D explore aspects of the secret propaganda war, including the role of Hans Welser. Click here to order back copies.

Mosley’s Irish home for sale

The 12-acre postwar home of Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley has been put on the market by its present owners.

Ileclash is close to Fermoy, Co Cork. It was the second Irish property that the Mosleys owned, having first purchased Clonfert Palace, a 17th century house in East Galway, in 1951.

Lady Mosley’s sister and brother-in-law had already moved to Ireland, and by 1951 it had become clear for various reasons that Mosley’s postwar political revival was running out of steam. A second Mosley revival began at the end of the ’50s, but for the rest of his life (from 1951 to 1980) he and Diana lived in Ireland or France, with occasional visits to London.

Clonfert was severely damaged in a fire at the end of 1953, and at the start of 1955 Mosley bought Ileclash, a 19th century mansion near the River Blackwater, 25 miles north of Cork. It became the Mosleys’ summer home for several years.

Several controversial European political figures settled in Ireland after the war, though recently released Irish government documents show that (despite having remained neutral during the Second World War and having maintained diplomatic relations throughout with National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy) Ireland’s prime minister Eamon de Valera discouraged prominent national socialist immigrants.

In October 1945 and April 1946 de Valera twice rejected applications by dissident, anti-Hitler national socialist Otto Strasser to take up Irish residency, writing “in present circumstances, it is not possible to accede to your request”. Similar rejection letters were sent to Léon Degrelle, former leader of the Belgian national socialist Rexist Party, who had led an SS Division on the Eastern Front.

Degrelle later settled in Spain, while after a decade in Canadian exile, Otto Strasser eventually returned to Germany.

As British citizens, the Mosleys could not be denied the right of residence in Ireland.

Ileclash is being marketed by Colliers International for €2.75m. The agents describe the property as “one of Ireland’s finest country houses”.

Unlike the vast majority of British nationalist leaders, Sir Oswald Mosley always had significant support among Irishmen, reflected in this postwar Union Movement pamphlet.

Sinn Féin wins Irish election and seeks far-left coalition

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald (above centre), the big winner of last week’s Irish general election, with IRA godfathers Gerry Adams and the late Martin McGuinness

Sinn Féin – political wing of the terrorist IRA – has emerged as largest single-party from the Irish general election, and is now trying to forge a coalition with two leftwing partners – the Greens and the ultra-left party People Before Profit (whose origins in the Socialist Workers Party). It’s not yet clear whether PBP will bring along the other far left parties with whom it formed a joint slate in last week’s elections.

Between them Sinn Féin, the Greens and the far left have 54 members in the new Irish Parliament. While 80 seats are needed for an overall majority, Sinn Féin hope that the remaining parties and independents would be so divided among themselves that this block of 54 could be the core of a new governing coalition. Yet a stable government would surely depend on an agreement with Fianna Fáil, the party that grew out of the anti-treaty IRA in the 1922-23 Irish Civil War, but which has usually distanced itself from the Provisional IRA and its political front in recent years.

Fianna Fáil’s 37 MPs (excluding the Speaker) would give a Sinn Féin domnated coalition with the Greens and far left a total of 91 seats – a comfortable working majority – but reaching agreement ought to be tricky, given that Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had pledged during the election campaign not to work with Sinn Féin.

The two old establishment parties – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – have 72 seats between them, but an ‘old gang’ coalition of this sort might seem like a kick in the teeth for voters who clearly opted for change.

Many non-Irish readers might be mystified by the failure of Fine Gael leader and outgoing prime minister Leo Varadkar, whose apparent triumph in last year’s Brexit negotiations with Boris Johnson seemed to bring the destruction of the Union, and Dublin’s dream of a ‘United Ireland’ closer than ever.

Outgoing Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (above right) seemed to have triumphed in Brexit negotiations with Boris Johnson, but has been decisively rejected by Irish voters.

Yet back home Varadkar was facing some of the same troubles that beset the former UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Ireland is no longer seen by the Irish as having benefited from an ‘economic miracle’. As in London, there is a housing crisis for young people, but again as in London most young voters have in response opted for the far left, choosing to ignore the parallel crises caused by mass immigration that has made Dublin unrecognisable in recent years.

Sinn Féin, which once played an ambiguous role, posing to European leftists as a socialist revolutionary movement, while presenting itself to the Irish diaspora in the USA as a traditional nationalist party sharing their social conservatism, has now reinvented itself inambiguously as a socially liberal party, ticking all the correct trendy boxes, though still unapologetic – indeed proud – of the IRA’s bloody record of murder and mayhem.

As with many such populist insurgencies, government might prove a trickier business than rhetorical opposition, and we have yet to see precisely how the new coalition will stack up a governing majority.

Meanwhile the rival populists of the conservative/eurosceptic right almost all failed: click here for details.

  • Find By Category

  • Latest News

  • Follow us on Twitter