Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

The Old Cinema,
Chatsworth Street,
Castlecomer,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,
Ireland.

PSRA Registration No: 001687

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Lot 611/7025

Estimate: €2000-2500

Army Comrades Association, ‘Fine Gael’.
An original blue canvas military-style shirt or tunic, with separate belt, ‘Fine Gael’ badge stitched to left upper breast, as worn by members of the Army Comrades Association circa 1933-34, generally in very good condition.
A rare and interesting item. The Army Comrades Association, of which Gen. Eoin O’Duffy was President, was formed in the early 1930s to resist IRA violence. It was briefly identified with the Fine Gael party (formerly Cumann na nGaedheal), of which O’Duffy was leader for a short time in 1933-34. The ‘blue shirt’ was worn with pride by its adherents at the time, but the name later became a term of political abuse, and surviving examples in good condition with a reliable provenance are very scarce. This is the third example we have sold in recent years; the shirts appear to be of the same manufacture, with minor variations in the badge (see Independence sales, 2007 lot 434, 2008 lot 641).
We are satisfied that the current example has a good original provenance from the Limerick area (details on request from the auctioneers).

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