A new documentary will tell the story of a Nazi professor, rumoured to have been a spy, who lived in the small village of Teileann in the Donegal Gaeltacht and its location as part of an apparent blueprint for a possible invasion of Ireland.
While it might sound like a fictional tale of wartime intrigue, veteran investigative journalist Kevin Magee uncovered the real double life of Irish language scholar Dr Ludwig Mühlhausen.
In Nazi sa Ghaeltacht, airing on Wednesday, June 22nd on TG4 at 9.30pm, Mr Magee investigates what Mühlhausen, a Nazi party member and German linguist, was really doing in the Donegal Gaeltacht in 1937 in the run-up to the Second World War.
In the one-hour documentary, made by Macha Media, with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund, Mr Magee follows Mühlhausen’s journey - ostensibly in the Gaeltacht to collect folklore but secretly gathering information which would be exploited by the Third Reich.
Professor Mühlhausen perfected his knowledge of the Irish language in the tiny Irish speaking hamlet of Teileann and used it to broadcast German propaganda into Ireland during World War Two.
In a remarkable journey Mr Magee traces the professor’s footsteps back to Berlin and reveals the "shocking truth about the German scholar who became the Gaelic Lord Haw Haw and a decorated SS officer".
Mr Magee had heard stories of a Nazi spy who operated in Teileann in South Donegal ever since he himself started visiting the area over 40 years ago.
Like Mr Magee, Mühlhausen had also gone there to perfect his Irish, but the locals were always suspicious of the German’s real reasons for visiting. Mühlhausen made no secret of the fact he was a committed Nazi and openly expressed his despair at how the locals weren’t enterprising, lacked German efficiency and didn’t exploit the land and sea around them as he thought they should.
Mr Magee said: “I wanted to find out if the story of the Nazi in the Gaeltacht was true, so I began investigating, talking to locals, asking questions and examining a whole variety of sources. Piece by piece I was able to pull this remarkable story together. When I began my journey, I had no idea I would discover just how committed Mühlhausen was to the entire Nazi project. The plot reads like a World War Two thriller, except this story is for real."
Two years after his visit, the same local people who had facilitated his stay in Teileann, were amazed to hear him broadcasting Nazi propaganda in Irish from a radio station in Berlin, urging the Irish to keep their neutrality and reminding them of atrocities the English had carried out in Ireland.
In this hour-long documentary Mr Magee brings a previously untold piece of Donegal history to life hearing from historians, local people in Teileann, and military experts.