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A target again ..statue of IRA boss accused of being a Nazi.


A MEMORIAL to a dead IRA chief of staff has been vandalised by neo-Marxists who claim he was a Nazi.

Now a political group with links to the Real IRA has vowed to track down the vandals who sprayed offensive messages on the stone plinth.

The bronze staue of Sean Russell has been repeatedly targeted by left-wing activists.

In the latest attack Russell was branded a "neo-Nazi" with spray paint and his shirt coloured brown.

The agitators claim he was a Nazi because he trained with German special forces and tried to secure German weapons to launch a bombing campaign in Britain.

But when Russell was returning to Ireland in August 1940 on board a German U-boat he died about 100 miles off the west coast of Galway.

The republican was buried at sea and his mission was aborted.

In 1951, the National Graves Association unveiled a statue to Russell in Fairview Park in Dublin.

Initially it was attacked by right-wing activists soon after it was erected because of Russell's earlier attempt to procure arms from the Soviet Union.

Later, left wing fanatics attacked the statue claiming Russell's links to Hitler mean that he was a Nazi.

On one occasion the statue was decapitated.

Now protesters have daubed "Nazi Scum" and "Hitlers Friend" on the plinth.

A revamped momument on Dublin's Northside had just been unveiled on June 28 by National Graves Association chairman Sean Whelan.

He denied Russell supported the Nazis and said the vandalism may have just been the work of misinformed teenagers.

He said: "It is sad that people are letting young people believe that Sean Russell was a fascist.

"The National Graves Association would never erect a monument to a fascist, I myself have been a part of the left my whole life.

"Sean Russell was accused of being a communist in the 50s and 60s. He went to Nazi Germany for weapons to fight the British but he also went to Soviet Russia and the United States."

Mr Whelan pointed out the confusion over Russell's past as the memorial was first attacked in the 1960s by right wing vandals who claimed the raised right arm was a communist salute and broke it off.

The arm was replaced posing downward, but was removed in 2004 along with the statue's head by a group who claimed Russell was going to round up Irish Jews in return for weapons from Hitler's government.

Mr Whelan added: "The statue sits on a monument to men who died for the republican movement in the 1930s and that is the part these vandals chose to write their message on.

"We have no idea who did this, it could even be someone from the far right trying to create trouble."

Fitted with GPS trackers and motion sensors it was hoped the republican-funded monument would avoid repeats of previous attacks.

Members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, which has links to the Real IRA, used a powerhose to remove the graffiti earlier this week.

In a statement, the group said: "Following a repeated attack on the newly unveiled bronze statue to IRA Volunteer Sean Russell in Fairview members of Dublin 32CSM took to the task of removing slogans which were daubed on the monument.

"Efforts are under way to find those responsible who deem it appropriate to deface the memorials of our patriot dead."

Labour councillor Aodhan O Riordain is opposed to the statue but also condemned those who had vandalised it.


Clean-up operation... Powerhosing the slogans DEFACED... Statue of Sean Russell was daubed with slogans Grafitti in the latest attack called Russell 'Nazi scum' but it is not the first time it has been targeted... it was beheaded in 2004 (pictured right)
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jul 19, 2009
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