- 04-01-2012, 22:41 #191
Caught today's documentary on R4 about this subject. While the treatment of these men post WW2 depends to a large extent on your political outlook in terms of Anglo-Irish relationships, what cannot be in doubt is the viciousness of the Irish State's treatment of their children. Placed in Industrial schools with the mark 'SS' (son of soldier? - the documentary didn't elaborate) next to their names, these young boys were treated to an especially brutal regime at the hands of the so-called 'Christian' brothers who ran these places. Beaten, sodomised and mentally tortured with the connivance of both the state and the Roman Catholic church. Recommended listening on the iplayer.
- 05-01-2012, 10:37 #192
- 25-01-2012, 21:54 #193
Pardon on way for Irish who fought, says Shatter
STEPHEN COLLINS, Political Editor
Wed, Jan 25, 2012
A PARDON for thousands of Irish soldiers who deserted from the Defence Forces to fight for the Allies in the second World War is on the way, Minister for Defence Alan Shatter has indicated.
While the Minister awaits formal advice from Attorney General Máire Whelan about how to proceed, he has said he regards the dishonourable discharge of soldiers who left to fight for the Allies as untenable.
Mr Shatter noted that for more than a decade the Irishmen who died fighting for Britain in the second World War had been commemorated in their own country.
“Many who fought in British uniforms during that war returned to Ireland. For too many years, their contribution in preserving European and Irish democracy was ignored.
“Some of those include members of our Defence Forces who left this island during that time to fight for freedom and who were subsequently dishonourably discharged from the Defence Forces,” said the Minister.
He said it was now appropriate to revisit the manner in which they were treated while also remembering that those who served in the Defence Forces throughout that time performed a crucial national duty.
“It is untenable that we commemorate those who died whilst continuing to ignore the manner in which our State treated the living, in the period immediately after World War II, who returned to our State having fought for freedom and democracy,” said Mr Shatter.
During that war 4,983 people deserted from the Defence Forces to join the Allied armies. Those who returned to Ireland were refused military pensions and were debarred from a range of State employment on the basis of an Emergency Powers Order passed by the Dáil in 1945.
On Monday the Northern Ireland Assembly unanimously backed the campaign for pardons for the servicemen involved.
In a significant speech on Monday night at the opening of The Shoah in Europe exhibition at the Department of Justice Mr Shatter said it was of vital importance that this and future generations remembered and learned from the horrors of the past.
He added that in the 1930s practically all visa requests from German Jews were refused by the Irish authorities.
“This position was maintained from 1939 to 1945 and we should no longer be in denial that, in the context of the Holocaust, Irish neutrality was a principle of moral bankruptcy.
“This moral bankruptcy was compounded by the then Irish government who, after the war, only allowed an indefensibly small number who survived the concentration camps to settle permanently in Ireland . . . and also by the visit of President de Valera to then German ambassador Edouard Hempel in 1945 to express his condolences on the death of Hitler. At a time when neutrality should have ceased to be an issue the government . . . utterly lost its moral compass,” said Mr Shatter.
© 2012 The Irish Times
Pardon on way for Irish who fought, says Shatter - The Irish Times - Wed, Jan 25, 2012"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe; attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion... I watched C-Beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost in time...like tears in rain... Time to die"
- 26-01-2012, 09:32 #194
Not that any of this was a great surprise. The Irish Govt were so concerned about the amount of Irish arriving home in British uniform that arrangements were maded for them to change in England before the trip home. Maybe Dev had a point, economically and politicaly bankrupt after a civil war. Go neutral and if the Nazis invade, wel at least that's a victory against the English (weird thinking I know, but not uncommon). He knew that if Churchill was prepared to offer up Noprthern Ireland in return for the naval bases. Once the Americans and British arrived he would never get them out, It had taken them 800 years to get to where they were then.
Thie original treatment should come as no surprise. The priest who gave the blessing at the last absolution of the Munsters (in WW1) had a hard time when he got home.
Last edited by skid2; 26-01-2012 at 09:33. Reason: forgot a bracket
- 09-05-2012, 23:54 #195
- 02-09-2012, 10:42 #196
Vindictive Irish Govt
Maybe the British Government should have done something to support financially those who deserted their own country to fight for them !?
- 02-09-2012, 10:46 #197
- 02-09-2012, 11:00 #198
I'm sure they (the British) did while they were here. It was their choice to go back and the Irish Governments vindictiveness to treat them with such callous disregard and hate for so long. Perhaps the idiots who chose to treat these veterans that way were the forebears of today's Ryanair staff given their attitude towards people in general.
- 02-09-2012, 18:44 #199
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Welling, Kent
I would broadly go along with that. The issue was more a case of pissing off the brits by certain parts of the new Eiran establishment. People forget that only a few years earlier Dublin was a huge RNR base for the British army and that loads of British Irish fought in the first world war. The German hoped to use the split between Ireland and Britain to their advantage, but they really did not understand the full implications of the split.
- 02-09-2012, 20:39 #200
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
- Home Counties
I'm not sure what you mean by the expression "British Irish" but there is still a tradition (habit?) within a lot of families in Ireland of one son going to the BA as one goes to the IDF especially in towns that are still called "Garrison towns". It's easy to identify them as soccer as opposed to the GAA is the more popular sport - Longford, Athlone, Cork City, Drogheda, Galway City. The British Army was a huge presence in Dublin both economically and socially, look at all the major barracks in Dublin both on the North and the Southside - as well as recruitment and training.
In 1939, the Irish Free State wasn't yet 20 years from a protracted and destructive War of Independence, Civil War and Economic War. It was officially neutral but one could say "neutral for the Allies" - the majority of the population may have haboured a lingering bitterness towards the British but that didn't mean they were pro-Nazi. De Valera could have closed the borders but didn't and 250,000 emigrated to work in the factories producing equipment for the war effort - of course that was a handy way of resolving the chronic unemployment and poverty in the Free State. But De Valera also imposed a strict censorship that isolated the country from the wider world and those Irish who did serve - in uniform or otherwise - returned to a country that had very little understanding or sympathy for what they had endured and so they soon learned to shut up.