Army Comrades Association

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The Army Comrades Association (ACA), later the National Guard, then Young Ireland and finally League of Youth, but better known as The Blueshirts, was an organization in the Irish Free State between 1932 and 1933. Initially composed of former soldiers in the Irish Free State Army, the organisation provided physical protection for political groups from intimidation and attacks by the anti-Treaty IRA.

Most of the political parties whose meetings the Blueshirts protected would merge to become Fine Gael, and members of that party are still sometimes nicknamed "Blueshirts".

The organization included some elements from fascism (broad sense). Members wore blue shirts in imitation of the European fascist movements that had adopted coloured shirts as their uniforms. About 600 former Blueshirts fought as part of the Irish Brigade with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. Regardless, historians are divided whether to classify the organization as fascist.

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Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.