The National Graves Association (NGA) has praised an outpouring of concern by the public following an attack on a monument in Dublin in honour of former IRA Chief of Staff Sean Russell.
Paint in rainbow colours was daubed around the base of the statue in Fairview Park.
The NGA said the attack was a direct result of recent comments by the outgoing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, when he stated ‘we have a few of our own statues we may need to take down’.
“Mr Varadkar and certain media outlets have created the conditions for such attacks to take place,” they said. “People in such positions should not be inciting vandalism in any form. We await their statements of condemnation.”
The Irish Republican Socialist Party described it as “a senseless assault on the Irish republican anti-imperialist tradition”.
They refuted what they said was an attempt to associate the Russell statue with a wave of anti-racist protests taking place across the world.
“While taking the opportunity to reaffirm Sean Russell’s own emphatic denial that he was himself a Nazi, neither by ideology nor sympathy – we also remind people that all of the progressive forces in Europe who eventually aligned to defeat the Nazi machine were at the same time as Russell also involved in deals and pacts with Hitler and the German Nazi regime.
“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan have in recent months been doing their best to pervert and obscure history – creating a fantasy narrative which seeks to criminalise those who fought imperialism, and by association those today who resist real racism at home and abroad.
“Leo Varadkar and Charlie Flanagan are cardinal figures in the institutional racism which holds sway at the heart of Irish politics in its cruel upholding and maintaining of the Direct Provision system.
“Charlie Flanagan is also the champion of Imperial enforcers and murder gang, the RIC – as well as being one of Irelands principal cheerleaders of the despotic Zionist state of Israel in today’s Middle East.”
The NGA thanked all those who helped with the cleaning.
“We urge the public to remain vigilant. Ní neart go cur le chéile.”