Author Topic: Irish Christian Front  (Read 598 times)

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Offline John Grace

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Irish Christian Front
« on: April 26, 2012, 10:57:31 AM »
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  • On a previous thread I mentioned Fine Gael. This is from wikipedia but a study could under taken regarding the Irish Christian Front
    Patrick Belton (1885 – 30 January 1945) was an Irish politician, anti-communist and leader of the Irish Christian Front. Belton provided a strong Catholic voice in an Irish nationalist context throughout his 20th century career. Supportive of Francisco Franco and an activist in favour of the forces against Bolshevism, Belton however opposed Eoin O'Duffy taking an Irish Brigade to Spain, feeling that they would be needed in Ireland to counter domestic "political ills". His family, including three sons and a granddaughter have also gone on to have careers in Irish politics.

    On 22 August 1936 the Irish Independent called for the formation of a committee to help the (pro Franco) citizens of Spain in their war effort. These calls for support resulted in the formation of the Irish Christian Front (ICF). The ICF held its initial meeting at the Mansion House, Dublin on 31 August 1936. Already a TD, an ambitious and charismatic leader, Belton became the organisation's president. The group had overwhelming support from the general population as well as the backing of the Catholic church. On ICF platforms would stand local sympathisers, priests, Bishops and local TDs usually from Fine Gael but some from Fianna Fáil and even the Labour Party. Belton would hold pro-Catholic and anti-communist rallies, drawing an estimated crowd of 30,000 on one occasion. He would publicise the massacres committed by the Spanish Republicans and sent aid and money to Franco's forces.
    However Belton, a supporter of nationalist Spain, claimed that the important battle was to be fought at home and not abroad. An ex-Blueshirt, he went as far as opposing Eoin O'Duffy's dispatching of the Irish Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.[1]
    The ICF would dwindle following Belton's loss in the 1937 general election. He was elected as a Fine Gael TD for Dublin County in the 1938 general election, however he once again lost his seat in the 1943 general election.
    Belton died on 30 January 1945, at his home, Belleview Park, Killiney, County Dublin.
    Three of his four sons – Richard, Jack and Paddy served as members of the Oireachtas, as did his granddaughter Avril Doyle.

    "When our organisations work is complete we will make Ireland a very hot spot for any communist to live in...if it is necessary to be a fascist to defend Christianity then I am a fascist and so are my colleagues." – Irish Independent, 12 October 1936


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