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How Close Were We To An Army Coup In 1932?


General Urko

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The army is given a great deal of credit for facilitating a peaceful transfer of power to De Valera and his party in the wake of the GE in 1932! But was a military coup ever even remotely likely?
Indeed has there ever been a real threat of it happening here? Oliver J rather famously said in the 80s that the country had never been more ripe for a coup than in that very decade (80s)!
 

neiphin

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Lando Calrissian

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Yeah the thirties were interesting. Coups everywhere in Europe. I guess there just wasnt a need for one here , given that 'benign fascists' were in power and still are in my view.
 

neiphin

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Yeah the thirties were interesting. Coups everywhere in Europe. I guess there just wasnt a need for one here , given that 'benign fascists' were in power and still are in my view.
new one in town
 

between the bridges

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is the answer 3ft?
 

devoutcapitalist

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Ireland has been one of the worlds most stable democracies since 1922. I doubt a military coupl was ever been seriously considered by the army top brass in 1932.
 

between the bridges

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more than 3ft then...
 

Cruimh

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The army is given a great deal of credit for facilitating a peaceful transfer of power to De Valera and his party in the wake of the GE in 1932! But was a military coup ever even remotely likely?
Indeed has there ever been a real threat of it happening here? Oliver J rather famously said in the 80s that the country had never been more ripe for a coup than in that very decade (80s)!
The response to the "mutiny" in 1924 more or less brought the Army to heel.
 

Dame_Enda

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By all accounts the army offered to keep Cosgrave in power but Cosgrave refused. So yes I think we were quite close and that had it been someone like (had he not died in 1927) Kevin O'Higgins in power we may well have had a coup.
 

Bleu Poppy

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Ireland has been one of the worlds most stable democracies since 1922. I doubt a military coupl was ever been seriously considered by the army top brass in 1932.
The Army, and government, of 1932, was made up of those who had fought, and seen comrades in Arms, in the Oireachtas, and in Government, killed, maimed, and murdered, in the cause of Irish democracy. Their actions in 1922 saw the establishment of what is now one of the oldest democracies not only in the world but also in Western Europe. W.T. Cosgrave walked into Dáil Éireann and handed power over peacefully and democratically in 1932.

The people with guns that day were De Valera's.

The people who began to subvert our Democracy from that day forward were De Valera's hooligans.

The person who abolished the Free State Senate after taking power that day was De Valera. He replaced it with such an emasculated body that, in the latest opinion poll, over 70% of those who expressed a view want rid of it.
 

Bleu Poppy

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By all accounts the army offered to keep Cosgrave in power but Cosgrave refused. So yes I think we were quite close and that had it been someone like (had he not died in 1927) Kevin O'Higgins in power we may well have had a coup.
What accounts?

What did O'Higgins die of, pray tell? Cancer? T.B.? Heart attack?
 

Dame_Enda

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What accounts?
Well it was in our history books in school 20 yrs ago that there was some talk of not accepting FF coming to power.
What did O'Higgins die of, pray tell? Cancer? T.B.? Heart attack?
Assasination. I mentioned him because he was such a hardliner and a fan of executions.
 

JohnD66

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To my knowledge, a group in the Army and Gardai, centred around Hugo MacNeill (son of Eoin MAcNeill, army officer) and Eoin O'Duffy (Garda commissioner), did propose a military intervention to stop FF coming to power. It's in Fearghal McGarry's biography of O'Duffy.

McGarry concludes that, 'The evidence indicates a number of inept attempts to sound out support, rather than one abortive effort to overthrow the government.'

The top pro-Treatyites don't seem to have gone for the idea. Army Chief of Staff Michael Brennan called MacNeill in to explain himself when he was informed of the plot. MacNeill asked Richard Mulcahy for his thoughts on a coup and Mulcahy, 'told Hugo not to be an ass'.

Similarly David Nelligan, head of Special Branch said he was shown by O'Duffy a proclamation for a coup, to which he responded, 'you don't think I'll have anything to do with this, do you?'. Cosgrave shortly after summoned Nelligan to ask what was going on and Nelligan said not to worry, everything was under control. Army CoS Brennan warned O'Duffy he'd be arrested if he went any further and that was basically that.

(McGarry, Eoin O'Duffy, P 189-190)

Ernest Blythe had made some noises that he would favour a dictatorship rather than see FF come to power but was not involved in the coup plot.

The short version here is that although a number of fairly senior military and police figures did plot a coup, they never got their plan off the ground due to lack of support among senior political, military and police personnel.

Discussion of this here.
 
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Radix

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By all accounts the army offered to keep Cosgrave in power but Cosgrave refused. So yes I think we were quite close and that had it been someone like (had he not died in 1927) Kevin O'Higgins in power we may well have had a coup.

Amazing the way things can work out. :)

The Eucharistic Congress of 1932 has also to be ruled in as a factor. WT went to the country in advance of it and perhaps in other circumstances the climate might have been more conducive to a coup.
 

callas

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By all accounts the army offered to keep Cosgrave in power but Cosgrave refused. So yes I think we were quite close and that had it been someone like (had he not died in 1927) Kevin O'Higgins in power we may well have had a coup.
Had they known then what we know now, there would have been a coup. If they had known what a monster FFailure would become maybe they could have nipped them in the bud. If someone had a vision and they foresaw bertie, and brian cowen and the bank gaurantee they might have felt obliged to do something.
 

JohnD66

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Had they known then what we know now, there would have been a coup. If they had known what a monster FFailure would become maybe they could have nipped them in the bud. If someone had a vision and they foresaw bertie, and brian cowen and the bank gaurantee they might have felt obliged to do something.
Aside from the inanity of confusing the issues of 1932 vs 2008, do you really think a military dictatorship led by an alcoholic fascist like O'Duffy would have been preferable to the alternatives? Learn some perspective.
 
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