Neutral Ireland and the Axis: Fact and fiction

Reading through letters and other papers maintained by my late parents I found a half sheet of paper which I believe was typed in 1945.  It looks authentic and I’m wondering who wrote / or spoke it. Given my interest in the https://nialljoreilly.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/niall-and-barney/ it’s highly probable my mother found it and left it for me to read…

“I would like to disclaim the many rumours about Ireland being a sort of espionage central for the Axis, According to the rumours, 4,000 Germans and Japanese were supposed to live in Ireland during the war. In reality there were three Japanese: the minister, his wife and secretary, and six Germans. The day we declared our absolute neutrality, the secret radio transmitters which were in the possession of the Japanese and German minister, were embarged by the Irish Government.

In relation to our population more voluntaries took part in the Allied Forces than from any other country [Note:* below], and likewise proportionally more Victory [Note: Victoria] Crosses were dealt out to Irishmen than to any other nation.

We are hoping for an invitation to the United Nations. Even if we are a small nation, we want to help build up the world again, and contribute to the world peace being secured and the banner of democracy being help high.”

Source: Unknown

A token used by German and Allied Forces internees during  the second world war, known as The Emergency, in the Curragh Military Internment Camp, Kildare, Ireland
*Over 50,000 Irishmen and women born in the Irish Free State joined the British forces during the Second World War. 
[Source: http://www.historyireland.com/volumes/volume6/issue1/features/?id=181] More than 5,000,  more then a 10th of the soldiers in the Irish Free State military left without permission to fight for the British forces. The returnees were branded traitors, and after the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Irish government drew up the “starvation order” list of  so-called deserters, banning them from tax-payer funded jobs. On May 7th 2013, 68 years after the end of the Second World War, the Irish Parliament, or Dail, passed a bill into law pardoning the men posthumously (only about 100 are still alive) and apologising to their families “removing any tarnish from their name or reputation” Note: wording of the Second World War Amnesty and Immunity Bill.  

“Had Germany successfully invaded Great Britain, Ireland was next on the list. These individuals made a substantial contribution to protect the sovereignty of this country”

[Source: Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, Minister of Defence.]

* 8 Irish VCs were awarded in the Second World War

1 Comment

Filed under 1945, History, Ireland, Japan

One response to “Neutral Ireland and the Axis: Fact and fiction

  1. Pingback: Diary of War: Private John “Barney” Bernard Patrick Byrne (HKVDC #4732) – Irish Prisoner of the Japanese in Shamshuipo and Sendai (1941-1945) | The Road Less Traveled: Niall's Musings

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