Ireland in WWII

7 views
Skip to first unread message

David Flood

unread,
Apr 10, 2001, 6:25:22 PM4/10/01
to
There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about Ireland's (an
official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.

cheers all,
David


Bernie

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 4:09:22 AM4/11/01
to

"David Flood" <nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> wrote in message
news:9b01ak$4gk$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk...

> There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about Ireland's
(an
> official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.
>
Could you tell me what the programme was called? thought the BBC website
might have some info on this.

Cheers

Bernie


Flame of the West

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 6:05:00 AM4/11/01
to

David Flood wrote:
>
> There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about Ireland's (an
> official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.

I wish we Americans got BBC. Sounds like a worthwhile
antidote to the idea that Ireland favored the Nazis.

--

-- FotW

Reality is for those who cannot cope with Middle-Earth.

Bernie

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 8:08:06 AM4/11/01
to

"Flame of the West" <jsol...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:3AD42C4B...@erols.com...

>
> David Flood wrote:
> >
> > There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about Ireland's
(an
> > official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.
>
> I wish we Americans got BBC. Sounds like a worthwhile
> antidote to the idea that Ireland favored the Nazis.
>
You'll soon be getting Ann Robinson presenting The Weakest Link. What more
could an American ask for?

Bernie


Jon

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 9:16:56 AM4/11/01
to
In article <slUA6.3356$FD1.3...@news6-win.server.ntlworld.com>,
Bernie <bern...@DONTYOUSPAMMYntlworld.com> wrote:

Maybe it was regional - here at that time we got:
'Blood on the Carpet' - Sausage Wars.
Honest!
Jon.

--
_ _ _
/ \ / \ / \ jgh...@argonet.co.uk * j...@acornarcade.com
( J | o | n )http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/jghall/
\_/ \_/ \_/ 7, High Street, Balrog Cuttings, TEUNC.

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 11:08:59 AM4/11/01
to
Flame of the West hath written:

>David Flood wrote:
>>
>> There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about Ireland's
(an
>> official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.
>
>I wish we Americans got BBC. Sounds like a worthwhile
>antidote to the idea that Ireland favored the Nazis.


The Irish government took great pains to mantain absolute neutrality during
the Second World War.

Öjevind


Bernie

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 12:41:21 PM4/11/01
to

"Jon" <jgh...@argonet.co.uk> wrote in message
news:4a698c4a...@argonet.co.uk...

> In article <slUA6.3356$FD1.3...@news6-win.server.ntlworld.com>,
> Bernie <bern...@DONTYOUSPAMMYntlworld.com> wrote:
>
> > "David Flood" <nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> wrote in message
> > news:9b01ak$4gk$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk...
> > > There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about
Ireland's
> > (an
> > > official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.
> > >
> > Could you tell me what the programme was called? thought the BBC
website
> > might have some info on this.
>
> Maybe it was regional - here at that time we got:
> 'Blood on the Carpet' - Sausage Wars.
> Honest!
> Jon.

I've seen that one! I can't get over the way that sod stole the poor guy's
recipes.

Is nothing sacred.

Bernie

(A non-sausage eating vegetarian)


Bernie

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 12:43:15 PM4/11/01
to

"Öjevind Lång" <ojevin...@swipnet.se> wrote in message
news:5q_A6.560$qr....@nntpserver.swip.net...
I think that's the point. Some people have accused Eamonn De Valera of
trying to do a secret deal with the Nazi's to send guns to Ireland so that
the British could be turfed out.

Bernie


David Flood

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 2:17:47 PM4/11/01
to
"Bernie" <bern...@DONTYOUSPAMMYntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:slUA6.3356$FD1.3...@news6-win.server.ntlworld.com...

'Atlantic Bridgehead' was the name of it... it was on BBC Northern Ireland.

cheers
D.

>
> Cheers
>
> Bernie


David Flood

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 2:22:51 PM4/11/01
to
"Flame of the West" <jsol...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:3AD42C4B...@erols.com...
>
> David Flood wrote:
> >
> > There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about Ireland's
(an
> > official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.
>
> I wish we Americans got BBC.

Yeah, we get the often-excellent BBC and Channel 4 on cable/faint
terrestrial signals here in the Republic...

(To all you UK licence-fee payers; *thanks* <waves> :-)

D.

David Flood

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 4:47:44 PM4/11/01
to
"Öjevind Lång" <ojevin...@swipnet.se> wrote in message
news:5q_A6.560$qr....@nntpserver.swip.net...

Not quite - de Valera's government observed the position of others (such as
the Low Countries), in not becoming a belligerent unless attacked by one
side or the other. They did, however, follow the same 'benevolent
neutrality' policy as the US - providing help to the Allies; such as
returning aircrew, passing intelligence, permitting use of territorial
airspace and waters, and allowing nationals to travel to join Allied armies
such as the US, Canada or (particularly) the UK.

This doesn't obscure the fact that the Defence Forces spent most of the war
split between facing the beaches (and Germany), and the Border (and the
British). Invasion by *either* was a serious threat; it is to the credit of
the UK government that they resisted the temptation, particularly given
Churchill's natural inclinations, and the persistent urgings of Carson's
Northern Ireland government.

There was a good deal of ill-informed 'black' propaganda against the
Republic in certain British quarters; allegations of German spies (who were
actually usually woefully amateurish and quickly caught), U-Boats refuelling
off the West coast (a ridiculous claim - if only even for the facts of fuel
rationing, and the close watch kept by the Defence Forces) etcetc.

There was one genuinely controversial act - de Valera called on the German
Ambassador (a non-Nazi) after Hitler's death, an act he defended as the
normal diplomatic 'official condolences' of an official neutral. Others
have speculated that he did it to deliberately provoke a verbal attack from
Churchill (who was anti-Irish), and thus help his own party in the imminent
Irish elections.

Dev was a wily politician - Lloyd George (a consummate politician himself)
remarked during the initial Treaty negotiations in 1921 (IIRC) that
negotiating with him was "like trying to pick up mercury with a fork". De
Valera's response to him (in typical Dev fashion) was to "use a spoon" :-)

The following was Dev's famous response to Churchill's VE Day speech (in
which he attacked Éire's neutrality);

http://www.rte.ie/radio/radio75/audioclips/devchurchill.ram

cheers,
Daithí


p.s. here are some good online articles on this subject...

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/newsfeatures/1999/0130/newsfea7.htm
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2001/0215/north8.htm
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/1997/1121/pol2.htm
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/features/2000/0928/features2.htm

- and here are some books on the subject

http://www.sonic.net/~bstone/archives/000511.shtml

and the *highly* recommended text;

"In Time of War. Ireland, Ulster and the price of neutrality 1939-45" by
Robert Fisk, London: Andre Deutsch, 1983

> Öjevind
>
>


Russ

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 5:58:48 PM4/11/01
to
In article <9b01ak$4gk$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk>, "David Flood"
<nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> writes:

>
>There's a program on BBC2 *now* (11.25pm, Tuesday night) about Ireland's (an
>official neutral) secret aid to the UK in WWII.

Oh, but son't you know David? The Irish were Nazi sympathaizers


Russ

SMGCFAM

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 7:20:45 PM4/11/01
to

This is a very informative post. Thank you. Actually, my understanding is that
a lot of Irish nationals fought in the British army against the Nazis. I have
no count as to the number although I read about it long ago. In the early 70's
when I was a callow graduate student at UCD I had a girl friend whose father
was in the RAF, so there was at least one. I also remember, on a tour of
Dublin passing a site which the guide said was the only site of German bombs
being dropped in WWII on the city. He said that it was done either by an
aviator dumping his load in an emergency or as a warning to the Irish
government of what would happen if the Republic did join. I don't know how
true the whole thing was though.


David Flood

unread,
Apr 11, 2001, 8:25:21 PM4/11/01
to
"SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20010411192045...@ng-fq1.aol.com...
<snip>

>
> This is a very informative post. Thank you.

You're welcome <g>

> Actually, my understanding is that
> a lot of Irish nationals fought in the British army against the Nazis. I
have
> no count as to the number although I read about it long ago. In the early
70's
> when I was a callow graduate student at UCD I had a girl friend whose
father
> was in the RAF, so there was at least one.

I had a few relatives in it myself, including one killed in action in
Normandy after D-Day.

> I also remember, on a tour of
> Dublin passing a site which the guide said was the only site of German
bombs
> being dropped in WWII on the city. He said that it was done either by an
> aviator dumping his load in an emergency or as a warning to the Irish
> government of what would happen if the Republic did join. I don't know
how
> true the whole thing was though.

Yes, the incident did occur - the bombs were dropped on the North Strand in
the city. This was just one of many 'accidental' bombings of Éire during
WWII.

Belfast, however, suffered much worse treatment from the Luftwaffe, famously
prompting Dev to send Dublin's entire Fire Brigade north to help fight the
fires in the city, on at least one occasion that I know of.

cheers,
Daithí


Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 6:25:43 AM4/12/01
to
SMGCFAM hath written:

>>Not quite - de Valera's government observed the position of others (such
as
>>the Low Countries), in not becoming a belligerent unless attacked by one
>>side or the other. They did, however, follow the same 'benevolent
>>neutrality' policy as the US - providing help to the Allies; such as
>>returning aircrew, passing intelligence, permitting use of territorial
>>airspace and waters, and allowing nationals to travel to join Allied
armies
>>such as the US, Canada or (particularly) the UK.

>This is a very informative post.[snip]


I don't wish to insult Ireland (or David), but this is not the whole
picture. In my previous post I wrote: "The Irish government took great pains
to maintain absolute neutrality during the Second World War", and I meant
precisely that. Their neutrality cannot in any way be compared to the
"friendly non-belligerent" attitude of the United States government. Some
examples of why:
1. The Irish government refused to let the British use the so called
Treaty Ports - Irish ports that could be used by the British in wartime if
the British and Irish governments agreed on it. The Irish refusal to do so
meant a longer voyage for ships transporting munitions or food from North
America to Britain. They had to travel further in waters infested by German
U-boats. Many of those ships were sunk. The Irish Government declared that
its refusal was due to a concern not to get involved in the war. The point
was a valid one, and Ireland did not break the treaty, but it was *not* the
act of a country with the same attitude towards Britain as the US.
2. When British troops were stationed in Northern Ireland during the war
as a protecive measure against a possible German invasion, de Valera
objected to that as "an infrigement on Ireland's national territory". When,
later on, American troops were stationed there, he made the same objection.
3. The Irish government publicly deplored that some Irish nationals
volunteered for the British armed forces. They urged all Irishmen to be
neutral and declared that "no genuine Irish interests depend on the outcome
of the war".
4. In the name of neutrality, Irish newspapers were extremely strictly
censored to excise anything that might make the public take sides against
Germany. For example, it was not until after the war, when the censorship
was lifted, that the Irish could see photographs of British cities bombed by
the Luftwaffe, or of liberated concentration camps.
5. During the last years of the war, the U. S. government was actually
more annoyed with Dublin than the British government was. It made quite
strident demands that Ireland be more accommodating. (The demands achieved
nothing.) That indicates that *they* did not regard Ireland as a "friendly
non-belligerent".
6. All neutral countries were sometimes accidentally bombed, particularly
in night-time. That happened because bombing is not the exact science
performed with "surgical precision" that some people seem to believe it is,
and this was even more true during the Second World War than now.
7. The fact that British airmen who had crashed or made emergency landings
in Ireland were repatriated is, I am afraid, not an indication of sympathy
with the British cause. Allied military personnel that had been shot down or
managed to escape from prisoner-of-war camps were repatriated through all
neutral countries: through Switzerland, through Sweden, even through Spain
though Spain was friendly with the Axis powers and negotiated with Hitler
about the reward for joining the war on the Axis side (the reward offered
was too small, so nothing came of it). That was why clandestine
organizations like the famous Comet Line could operate all the way from
Belgium to the Pyrenees, smuggling allied pilots and soldiers into Spain.
Once safely beyond the Spanish border, they could announce themselves to the
authorities and then await repatriation, which was usually a mere matter of
formalities.
The same method obtained in Switzerland - get inside the borders and then
present yourself to the authorities. In Sweden, the repatriated included
airmen who had accidents with their planes and crashed or had to land, but
also allied soldiers that managed to escape from German prison camps, get to
a Baltic port and sneak on board an Swedish ship. Once outside German
territorial waters, they announced themselves to the captain, who then
transported them to the Swedish port of destination and there handed them
over to the police, who had custody of them until a repatriation could be
arranged.
It is extremely understandable that small neutral countries like David's,
or mine (Sweden), wanted to keep out of the Dance of the Big Elephants. But
I do not think they should try to pose as heroes afterwards.
Paul, you are usually very well-informed. I am a bit surprised that you do
no seem to know these things.

Öjevind


Russ

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 11:07:30 AM4/12/01
to
In article <vmfB6.729$qr....@nntpserver.swip.net>, "Öjevind Lång"
<ojevin...@swipnet.se> writes:

<snip>

> It is extremely understandable that small neutral countries like David's,
>or mine (Sweden), wanted to keep out of the Dance of the Big Elephants. But
>I do not think they should try to pose as heroes afterwards.


I don't see anyone trying to pose Ireland as a hero. What David and I are
saying however, is that Ireland was not a villan.

Ireland's situation is not completely analogous to Sweden's. There is another
consideration. They had been at war with Britain less than 20 years before.
The Irish people simply did not want to be allies of Britain and the
government's neutrality policy enjoyed broad support among the population. It
should be noted parenthetically that American public opinion firmly supported
staying out of the war - at least until Pearl Harbor.

In the other thread, Mike Rohan excused Britain and France's (to me) much worse
action prior to the war in consigning people to the control of Nazi Germany.
The excuse, according to Mike, was that Europe had a generation before gone
through a bloody war and they wanted to avoid antoher. If that's a valid
excuse then Ireland's policy is even more valid. Ireland too wanted to avoid
war. In addition however, one would essentially be asking the Irish to ally
with their ancient enemy with whom they had fought a war 20 years prior.

Anyway, Irish policy was more pro-ally than you are goving them credit for. As
set forth in a May 1941 secret communique between Dublin and London, the Irish,
broadcasted information relating to German planes and submarines, provided the
British with intelligence from their coast-watching service, routed all German
and Itialian official communication through London, allowed the British
Legation to maintain two secret wireless sets and private lines to Belfast and
London, obscuring lighting systems at request of British military authorities,
allowed the British to set up electronics that destroyed and decreased the
effeciency of Irish broadcasting system in order to make it unusable as a guide
to German pilots, allowed West African Service to use Shannon airport (West
African Service was ostensibly a civilian air company but in reality it was run
by the British military), turning a blind eye to British overflights of Ireland
and "hot pursuits" into Irish waters, etc.

When the Germans tried to install three additional intelligence officers in the
German Legation in December 1940, the Irish refused. Bombs "accidentally" fell
in Co. Monaghan and Sandycove on 20 December. The Germans sent the officers to
Shannon Airport on Christmas Eve without permission. DeValera directed that if
the place landed the Germans were to be arrested. The runways were blocked with
the help of British presonnel at the airport (West Africa Service). The Irish
defense forces were put on general alert. The German plane flew over the
airport but didn't land. Shortly thereafter on Jan 1st and 2nd 1941, the
German's "accidentally" dropped bombs in Dublin, Carlow, Drogheda, Kildare,
Wexford and Wicklow.

DeValera was once quoted as saying that if Ireland were attacked by Germany it
would simplify matters.

A public exchange between Churchill at the end of the war is quite illustrative
of the Irish point of view. In his May 13 1945 speech, Churchill said: "Owing
to the action of Mr. DeValera...the approaches which the southern Irish ports
and airfields could so easily have guarded were closed by the hostile aircraft
and U-boats. This was indeed a deadly moment in our life, and if it had not
been for the loyalty and friendship of Northern Ireland we should have been
forced to come to close quarters with Mr. de Velara or perish forever from the
earth. However, with a restraint and poise to which, I say, history will find
few parallels, His Magesty's Government, never laid a violent hand upon them,
though at times it would have been quite easy and quite natural, and we left
the de Valera government to frolic with the Germans and later with the Japanese
to their heart's content."

de Valera replied a few days later in a speech on May 17, 1945:

"I know the kind of answer I am supposed to make [to Mr. Churchill]. I know
the answer that springs to the lips of every man of Irish blood who heard or
read that sppech...I know the reply I would have given a quarter century
ago...Allowances can be made for Mr. Churchill's statement, however unworthy,
in the first flush of his victory...Mr Churchill makes it clear that in certain
circumstances he would have violated our neutrality and that he would justify
his action by Britain's necessity...if accepted, [this] would mean that
Britain's necessity would become a moral code and that when necessity became
sufficiently great, other people's rights were not to count...this same code is
precisely why we have the disastrous succession of wars...By resisting his
temptation in this instance, Mr Churchill [avoided] adding another horrid
chapter to the already bloodstained record of the relations between England and
this country...Mr. Churchill is proud of Britain's stand alone...Could he not
find in his heart the generousity to acknowledge there is a small nation that
stood alone, not for one year or two, but for several hundred against
aggression, that endured spoilations, famines, massacres in endless
successions, that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but that each time
on returning to consciousnes too up the fight anew, a small nation that could
never be got to accept defeat and has never surrendered her soul"

Russ

Another Ded Dzhen

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 11:40:11 AM4/12/01
to
/ It is extremely understandable that small neutral countries like David's,
/ or mine (Sweden), wanted to keep out of the Dance of the Big Elephants. But
/ I do not think they should try to pose as heroes afterwards.

And to make a profit. Sweden was selling iron ore to Germany and Bofors
guns to the USA. One of the reasons Germany occupied Norway was to control
the iron ore exports from Sweden. Switzerland's activities have become
known in recent years. The USA was also profitting from its official
neutrality.

--
Bush and Dick Bait: Robin Red Breast, Blue Tit, Jackass
Penguin, Erect-crested Penguin, Red-necked Grebe, Fairy
Prion, Rock Shag. Machine censorred for you protection.
___________________/\_________Elect LUM World Dictator!
:)-free zone. \/ http://www.tsoft.com/~wyrmwif/

Paul Shenton

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 1:36:57 PM4/12/01
to
> Paul, you are usually very well-informed. I am a bit surprised that you
do
> no seem to know these things.
>
> Öjevind
>
>

Surely you must be referring to another Paul.

Paul.


Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 3:49:24 PM4/12/01
to
Paul Shenton hath written:


Actually, I was. And on top of that, I now remember that SMGCFAM is not the
Paul I meant either... Still, my opinion that SMGCFAM is generally very
well-informed was at least directed to the right address. Of course, Paul is
also generally well-informed. As are you, Paul. [SIGH]
Tennis, anyone?

Öjevind


Tamf Moo

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 3:56:10 PM4/12/01
to
'It is a long tale,' said "Öjevind Lång" <ojevin...@swipnet.se>, and
began:

>>Surely you must be referring to another Paul.

>Actually, I was. And on top of that, I now remember that SMGCFAM is not the
>Paul I meant either... Still, my opinion that SMGCFAM is generally very
>well-informed was at least directed to the right address. Of course, Paul is
>also generally well-informed. As are you, Paul. [SIGH]
> Tennis, anyone?

i don't know, i find i'm having difficulties following the ball.

dwarf throwing, perhaps?

--
Tamf the lellow moodragon

Mmmm! Breast and broccoli...my mouth is watering already.
(Paul Shenton)

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 7:09:36 PM4/12/01
to
Russ hath written:

[snip]


>
>I don't see anyone trying to pose Ireland as a hero. What David and I are
>saying however, is that Ireland was not a villan.

Oh, I did not imply anything of the sort. I merely wanted to stress that the
Irish Free State (as it was then known) did observe very strict neutrality
in the Second World War. :-)

Öjevind


SMGCFAM

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 7:46:52 PM4/12/01
to
>SMGCFAM is not the
>Paul I meant either.

I shouldn't be, my name is not Paul. Actually, the Irish in WWII is something
I know little about, just about what I posted. I think the points made by
people here point to a very tricky situation where perhaps good and not so good
things can be brought up. I reserve judgement because although I am not a
government (just an insignificant person) I know the same applies to me though
I would hope I would never be in a situation where really important choices of
good or bad action would have to be made (What would I have done had I been
living in Nazi Germany in the 1930's--probably been to afraid to do much). And
then again, perhaps I was, or at least there would be those who would blame me
for not taking a strong, activitist moral stand for some of the perceived bad
things my government is responsible for. How does this relate to Tolkien--I
admire the ideal of Frodo and Sam--they made heroic choices and sacrificed
much. A novel only, perhaps, but a good example to strive toward.

David Flood

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 10:37:25 PM4/12/01
to
"Öjevind Lång" <ojevin...@swipnet.se> wrote in message
news:vmfB6.729$qr....@nntpserver.swip.net...
> SMGCFAM hath written:

<snip>
> I don't wish to insult Ireland (or David), but this is not the whole
> picture.

I completely agree that you've good intentions, Öjevind - There Be No
Trolling Here :-)

> In my previous post I wrote: "The Irish government took great pains
> to maintain absolute neutrality during the Second World War", and I meant
> precisely that. Their neutrality cannot in any way be compared to the
> "friendly non-belligerent" attitude of the United States government. Some
> examples of why:
> 1. The Irish government refused to let the British use the so called
> Treaty Ports - Irish ports that could be used by the British in wartime if
> the British and Irish governments agreed on it. The Irish refusal to do so
> meant a longer voyage for ships transporting munitions or food from North
> America to Britain. They had to travel further in waters infested by
German
> U-boats. Many of those ships were sunk. The Irish Government declared that
> its refusal was due to a concern not to get involved in the war. The point
> was a valid one, and Ireland did not break the treaty, but it was *not*
the
> act of a country with the same attitude towards Britain as the US.

Actually the so-called 'Treaty Ports' (including *Belfast*) had been handed
over to the Irish Free State several years earlier (1938, in fact). The
Irish Government actually had to give the British Admiralty permission to
use Belfast port, a little-known fact (even to the Germans, apparently (and
luckily)).

Permission to use the other three, however, would have brought British
military personnel onto *sovereign Irish soil*, and immediately brought us
into the war. (At the very least it would have attracted significant renewed
support to the IRA; who would anyway have inevitably started attacks,
necessitating British counter-measures... the cycle would probably have
descended into another Anglo-Irish war)

Éire was entirely within its rights as a neutral to refuse access, though it
alllowed British ships and aircraft to cross *through* our territory (a
benefit not extended to the Germans).

> 2. When British troops were stationed in Northern Ireland during the war
> as a protecive measure against a possible German invasion, de Valera
> objected to that as "an infrigement on Ireland's national territory".
When,
> later on, American troops were stationed there, he made the same
objection.

He had *no choice* in this - he had to win a constant propaganda war with
the IRA, who could easily have plunged the country back into civil war, if
allegations stuck of helping the British.

> 3. The Irish government publicly deplored that some Irish nationals
> volunteered for the British armed forces. They urged all Irishmen to be
> neutral and declared that "no genuine Irish interests depend on the
outcome
> of the war".

Yet I know from well-documented (as well as *family* :-) history here, that
Irish nationals were (with no hindrance) allowed to travel North to join the
Allies - as were Irish Army troops, who technically 'deserted', but who were
freely permitted to go and enlist. More 'Southern' Irish than inhabitants
of NI joined the Allied forces, IIRC.

Again, with Dev (the consummate politician) his actions spoke louder than
his words.

> 4. In the name of neutrality, Irish newspapers were extremely strictly
> censored to excise anything that might make the public take sides against
> Germany. For example, it was not until after the war, when the censorship
> was lifted, that the Irish could see photographs of British cities bombed
by
> the Luftwaffe, or of liberated concentration camps.

There was censorship of both sides' propaganda - a policy designed to
support neutrality, in a country not long out of a bloody Civil War (over
supposed ties to Britain).

> 5. During the last years of the war, the U. S. government was actually
> more annoyed with Dublin than the British government was. It made quite
> strident demands that Ireland be more accommodating. (The demands achieved
> nothing.) That indicates that *they* did not regard Ireland as a "friendly
> non-belligerent".

I know about this - and it was a bit rich considering that they took so long
to join the war themselves, and had to be attacked first.

Here's some more on the topic...

http://indigo.ie/~kfinlay/General/vc.html
http://www.sonic.net/~bstone/archives/000511.shtml
http://www.limerick-leader.ie/issues/19990703/editorial.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/ireland/cruis794.htm
http://www.smh.com.au/news/0004/29/text/review5.html

and here is some academic 'digital archive' project or other on the Web,
that has copies of reports sent back by US officials dealing with Éire
during WWII...

http://www.academic.marist.edu/psf/psfa35/a35INDEX.htm

> 6. All neutral countries were sometimes accidentally bombed,
particularly
> in night-time. That happened because bombing is not the exact science
> performed with "surgical precision" that some people seem to believe it
is,
> and this was even more true during the Second World War than now.

I again agree totally with you - but there was concern here that this one
*particular* incident was 'deliberate'. IIRC it was at some key point of
the war, I'll look it up again and post it here.

> 7. The fact that British airmen who had crashed or made emergency
landings
> in Ireland were repatriated is, I am afraid, not an indication of sympathy
> with the British cause.

Actually it was. The *Axis* pilots got no such immediate chauffering to the
Border, and sat out the war in the Curragh, unlike their Allied counterparts
(who 'escaped' North - including an American general, I forget his name).
Any airworthy Allied craft which landed were immediately refuelled and sent
on their way.

> It is extremely understandable that small neutral countries like
David's,
> or mine (Sweden), wanted to keep out of the Dance of the Big Elephants.
But
> I do not think they should try to pose as heroes afterwards.

No, there's no posing as heroes. There *would* have been, however, a great
likelihood of a resurgence of the Civil War if any Irish government had sent
Irish troops to die defending England. Even pro-British figures in the Fine
Gael opposition (such as James Dillon) recognised this, and supported
neutrality.

> Paul, you are usually very well-informed. I am a bit surprised that you
do
> no seem to know these things.

Öje, *did* you follow those links I've posted?

cheers
David

> Öjevind
>
>


Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 13, 2001, 8:44:44 AM4/13/01
to
David Flood hath written:

[snip]

>> 2. When British troops were stationed in Northern Ireland during the
war
>> as a protecive measure against a possible German invasion, de Valera
>> objected to that as "an infrigement on Ireland's national territory".
When,
>> later on, American troops were stationed there, he made the same
objection.
>
>He had *no choice* in this - he had to win a constant propaganda war with
>the IRA, who could easily have plunged the country back into civil war, if
>allegations stuck of helping the British.

That sounds very alarming. Yes, clearly de Valera felt he had ample reasons
for keeping Ireland strictly neutral.

[snip]

>Yet I know from well-documented (as well as *family* :-) history here, that
>Irish nationals were (with no hindrance) allowed to travel North to join
the
>Allies - as were Irish Army troops, who technically 'deserted', but who
were
>freely permitted to go and enlist. More 'Southern' Irish than inhabitants
>of NI joined the Allied forces, IIRC.

The item about more Irish from the Free State than from Northern Ireland
enlisting sounds very interesting. Can you give me source for this, please?
Frankly, I doubt that soldiers serving in the Irish army were unofficially
allowed to slip over to join the British army. Keeping individual Irish
nationals from going to Britain to enlist would of course have been
impossible, since thousands of Irishmen worked in British industries during
the war. Their labour was very valuable since the British men were away
fighting, but at the same time, the money they earned was quite important to
Ireland. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement.

>Again, with Dev (the consummate politician) his actions spoke louder than
>his words.

With all respect, I don't think paying a personal visit to the German
embassy to pay one's condolences for Hitler's death was the work of a
consummate politician.

[snip]

>There was censorship of both sides' propaganda - a policy designed to
>support neutrality, in a country not long out of a bloody Civil War (over
>supposed ties to Britain).


I am not sure I would choose to describe photographs of bombed cities, or of
emaciated prisoners in concentration camps, as exclusively "propaganda".
Still, of course censorship of that kind is in line with a policy of very
strict neutrality.

[snip]


>
>> 7. The fact that British airmen who had crashed or made emergency
>landings
>> in Ireland were repatriated is, I am afraid, not an indication of
sympathy
>> with the British cause.
>
>Actually it was. The *Axis* pilots got no such immediate chauffering to
the
>Border, and sat out the war in the Curragh, unlike their Allied
counterparts
>(who 'escaped' North - including an American general, I forget his name).
>Any airworthy Allied craft which landed were immediately refuelled and sent
>on their way.

Well... David, how on earth could the Irish have repatriated any Germans at
all? Britain was in between. I believe that if there had been any
possibility, Ireland would, as befitted a neutral country, have repatriated
German military personnel.

[snip]

>No, there's no posing as heroes. There *would* have been, however, a great
>likelihood of a resurgence of the Civil War if any Irish government had
sent
>Irish troops to die defending England. Even pro-British figures in the
Fine
>Gael opposition (such as James Dillon) recognised this, and supported
>neutrality.

I don't think anyone really expected Ireland to declare war on Germany.

[snip]

>Öje, *did* you follow those links I've posted?


Yes - thank you! But I am afraid I found nothing (there, or on other sites I
have looked at) that changed my previous opinion about this - that when the
Irish government declared itself to be absolutely neutral during the Second
World War, it spoke the perfect truth.

Cheers

Öjevind


David Flood

unread,
Apr 13, 2001, 11:12:05 AM4/13/01
to
"Öjevind Lång" <ojevin...@swipnet.se> wrote in message
news:OuCB6.1102$qr....@nntpserver.swip.net...

> David Flood hath written:
<snip>
>
> >Yet I know from well-documented (as well as *family* :-) history here,
that
> >Irish nationals were (with no hindrance) allowed to travel North to join
> the
> >Allies - as were Irish Army troops, who technically 'deserted', but who
> were
> >freely permitted to go and enlist. More 'Southern' Irish than
inhabitants
> >of NI joined the Allied forces, IIRC.
>
> The item about more Irish from the Free State than from Northern Ireland
> enlisting sounds very interesting. Can you give me source for this,
please?
> Frankly, I doubt that soldiers serving in the Irish army were unofficially
> allowed to slip over to join the British army. Keeping individual Irish
> nationals from going to Britain to enlist would of course have been
> impossible, since thousands of Irishmen worked in British industries
during
> the war. Their labour was very valuable since the British men were away
> fighting, but at the same time, the money they earned was quite important
to
> Ireland. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement.

On the 'turning a blind eye' to Irish Army personnel going AWOL, there were
a couple of references to this in Robert Fisk's book IIRC, and in one of the
'Irish Sword' series of Irish military history journals.

I'll look up the Vol. no. etc. when I head home for Easter, and post it.

There's also this...

http://www.four-courts-press.ie/review_ww2.htm

> >Again, with Dev (the consummate politician) his actions spoke louder than
> >his words.
>
> With all respect, I don't think paying a personal visit to the German
> embassy to pay one's condolences for Hitler's death was the work of a
> consummate politician.

It was *for him*, if you believe the suspicion here that he did it
deliberately to provoke Churchill (who rose to the bait, with good reason).
Being attacked in one of Churchill's speeches would have done wonders for
his popularity in a then-imminent election.

Like him or loathe him, Dev was a crafty bugger...

> [snip]
>
> >There was censorship of both sides' propaganda - a policy designed to
> >support neutrality, in a country not long out of a bloody Civil War (over
> >supposed ties to Britain).
>
>
> I am not sure I would choose to describe photographs of bombed cities, or
of
> emaciated prisoners in concentration camps, as exclusively "propaganda".
> Still, of course censorship of that kind is in line with a policy of very
> strict neutrality.

No, I apologise if I was unclear - I meant the word in the neutral sense as
it's understood - information disseminated in order to swing public opinion.
Nasty little 'Holocaust deniers' like Irving are *scum of the earth*, IMHO.

> [snip]
> >
> >> 7. The fact that British airmen who had crashed or made emergency
> >landings
> >> in Ireland were repatriated is, I am afraid, not an indication of
> sympathy
> >> with the British cause.
> >
> >Actually it was. The *Axis* pilots got no such immediate chauffering to
> the
> >Border, and sat out the war in the Curragh, unlike their Allied
> counterparts
> >(who 'escaped' North - including an American general, I forget his name).
> >Any airworthy Allied craft which landed were immediately refuelled and
sent
> >on their way.
>
> Well... David, how on earth could the Irish have repatriated any Germans
at
> all? Britain was in between. I believe that if there had been any
> possibility, Ireland would, as befitted a neutral country, have
repatriated
> German military personnel.

As I always understood it, neutrals were obliged to detain *any* belligerent
military personnel captured (while engaged in military operations) on their
soil. (The Irish Government seems to have been *unusually* discreet in
hiding Allied repatriations from the Germans, if that's not the case)

Here's a good paper on the Swiss neutrality, for example;

http://www.asil.org/vagts.htm

> [snip]
>
> >No, there's no posing as heroes. There *would* have been, however, a
great
> >likelihood of a resurgence of the Civil War if any Irish government had
> sent
> >Irish troops to die defending England. Even pro-British figures in the
> Fine
> >Gael opposition (such as James Dillon) recognised this, and supported
> >neutrality.
>
> I don't think anyone really expected Ireland to declare war on Germany.
>
> [snip]
>
> >Öje, *did* you follow those links I've posted?
>
>
> Yes - thank you! But I am afraid I found nothing (there, or on other sites
I
> have looked at) that changed my previous opinion about this - that when
the
> Irish government declared itself to be absolutely neutral during the
Second
> World War, it spoke the perfect truth.

I'm going 'home' home over the Easter. I'll look through the stuff I have
left down there, and properly list books, articles in 'An Cosantóir' (the
official Defence Forces magazine) etc.

best of luck,
D.

p.s. here're some more interesting URL's, on various above points...

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1941/411212a.html
http://lifestyleopportunity.org/index/Regional/Europe/Ireland/Society_and_Cu
lture/History/de_Valera,_Eamon/
http://www.keywriter.org/coursework/psi.html
http://www.irishnews.com/k_archive/091199/view4.html
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/1997/0619/hom28.htm
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2001/0215/north8.htm

> Cheers
>
> Öjevind
>


Flame of the West

unread,
Apr 12, 2001, 10:50:21 PM4/12/01
to

Another Ded Dzhen wrote:

> And to make a profit. Sweden was selling iron ore to Germany and Bofors
> guns to the USA.

This has been addressed on this NG long ago. Sweden could
not maintain neutrality while conducting a trade boycott of
Germany. So OF COURSE they continued to trade with Germany.

> The USA was also profitting from its official
> neutrality.

You'd prefer we'd traded at a loss?

David Flood

unread,
Apr 18, 2001, 5:14:27 PM4/18/01
to
"Öjevind Lång" <ojevin...@swipnet.se> wrote in message
news:OuCB6.1102$qr....@nntpserver.swip.net...

> David Flood hath written:
<snip>
>
> >Yet I know from well-documented (as well as *family* :-) history here,
that
> >Irish nationals were (with no hindrance) allowed to travel North to join
> the
> >Allies - as were Irish Army troops, who technically 'deserted', but who
> were
> >freely permitted to go and enlist. More 'Southern' Irish than
inhabitants
> >of NI joined the Allied forces, IIRC.
>
> The item about more Irish from the Free State than from Northern Ireland
> enlisting sounds very interesting. Can you give me source for this,
please?
> Frankly, I doubt that soldiers serving in the Irish army were unofficially
> allowed to slip over to join the British army.

OK, back from the Easter break - here goes...

Apart from the reference I've given earlier,
http://www.four-courts-press.ie/review_ww2.htm , there's little concrete to
go on for figures from the Republic. The various figures are disputed in
different ways; for example, the lower figures ignore war casualties until
that point, and those who travelled North to enlist in NI (and were hence
included in NI totals).

NI initially claimed 27,000 volunteers, but this was later amended to 37,282
(these figures presumably include the southern volunteers as well) - the
same estimater placed Free State volunteers at 43,000.

The proportion of southern Irish can perhaps be best gauged by the fact that
the Stormont régime considered introducing legislation prohibiting
southerners (discharged after the war) from staying in NI (Fisk, In Time Of
War).

A figure around the 200,000 travelling to the UK from the Free State is an
bare minimum; this was the number of official travel permits issued by the
Irish government (Dermot Keogh, "Twentieth Century Ireland", Dublin, 1994,
p.122).

There is also a commonly quoted Defence Forces figure of 7,000 'deserters'
who were allowed to abscond unhindered, and the 'unofficials' (including
those who went North).

De Valera found the numbers of Irish joining the Allied forces to be a
potential political embarrassment. In consequence of this, Maffey (the "UK
Representative to Éire"), was asked to provide dumps of 'civilian clothing'
at the port of Holyhead, so that Irish nationals returning home could change
out of military uniform.

"This little device", Eden (the British Dominions Secretary) wrote later,
"was endorsed by the Cabinet and worked smoothly throughout the war years"
(Fisk, In Time Of War, p.95)

So there you have it. I can heartily recommend Fisk (a highly awarded Times
journalist, http://msanews.mynet.net/Scholars/Fisk/ ); the others are by
serving or retired Irish Army officers, and military historians.

cheers,
D.


Sources:

"In Time Of War - Ireland, Ulster and the price of neutrality 1939-45",
Robert Fisk, Brandon, ISBN 0 86322 034 7

"The Irish Sword", Vol. XIX, Nos. 75 & 76 "The Emergency 1939-45", Journal
of the Military History Society of Ireland.

"A History of the Irish Army", Col. J.P. Duggan (out on (a very overdue)
loan; can't recall the publisher :-)

"An Cosantóir" magazine, September 1999, "Neutrality - A Personal View", by
Comdt. J. Dowling.


SMGCFAM

unread,
Apr 18, 2001, 8:58:13 PM4/18/01
to

Ireland in WWII, latest post by David Flood:

Very good, excellent....A man who quotes his sources. Highly informative and
interesting. I appreciate the time you took.

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 19, 2001, 5:14:16 PM4/19/01
to
David Flood hath written:

[snip]


>
>Apart from the reference I've given earlier,
>http://www.four-courts-press.ie/review_ww2.htm , there's little concrete to
>go on for figures from the Republic. The various figures are disputed in
>different ways; for example, the lower figures ignore war casualties until
>that point, and those who travelled North to enlist in NI (and were hence
>included in NI totals).

Thank you, David. Yes, I can see (both from the figures you give, from the
links you have offered and from other sources), that all estimates of the
number of Irish volunteers are rather iffy. The higher guesses must somehow
include people of Irish origins living in Britain at the outbreak of the
war.

Cheers

Öjevind


David Flood

unread,
Apr 20, 2001, 3:33:04 PM4/20/01
to
Scríobh "SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> i
news:20010418205813...@ng-fd1.aol.com...

Thank you very much :-)

However, I'm probably going overboard (as regards proper references), in
order to prevent a return of the serious accusations of a while back.

cheers,
Daithí


SMGCFAM

unread,
Apr 20, 2001, 7:29:19 PM4/20/01
to
>However, I'm probably going overboard (as regards proper references), in
>order to prevent a return of the serious accusations of a while back.

No, I don't think one can go overboard with references. They show the depth of
someone's background and scholarship. Different sources can give different
interpretations of events. It is good to get all perspectives. For example:
ever read Francis Jennings' Empire of Fortune about the Seven Years War in
North America? He gives a very interesting perspective of the views of the
native population--something usually missed, but his approach has a definite
axe-grinding quality. Therefore, I would recommend reading that book and
others about the conflict. Unfortunately, if one is looking for an overview
because one is an educated layman and not a scholar it is hard to know how far
to delve into a topic. I suppose that is a function of one's interest.

By, the way, do you know much about the Blue Shirts?

David Flood

unread,
Apr 21, 2001, 6:43:59 PM4/21/01
to

"SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20010420192919...@ng-cq1.aol.com...

> >However, I'm probably going overboard (as regards proper references), in
> >order to prevent a return of the serious accusations of a while back.
>
> No, I don't think one can go overboard with references. They show the
depth of
> someone's background and scholarship. Different sources can give
different
> interpretations of events. It is good to get all perspectives. For
example:
> ever read Francis Jennings' Empire of Fortune about the Seven Years War in
> North America?

Who's the publisher? I might give it a read in the Summer.

> He gives a very interesting perspective of the views of the
> native population--something usually missed, but his approach has a
definite
> axe-grinding quality. Therefore, I would recommend reading that book and
> others about the conflict. Unfortunately, if one is looking for an
overview
> because one is an educated layman and not a scholar it is hard to know how
far
> to delve into a topic. I suppose that is a function of one's interest.
>
> By, the way, do you know much about the Blue Shirts?

The ACA (Army Comrades Association) were a large organisation of Treatyite
ex-soldiers and -Gardaí, which came into existence in late 1931, ostensibly
as a counter to the IRA (in terms of muscle - there had been no *armed*
fighting since the end of the Civil War).

(They had initial, tenuous links with the Irish branch of the British
Fascisti (made up of ex-British Army officers). These Fascisti were engaged
in anti-Semitic activities in Ireland (including threats against Jewish
Republicans such as the Briscoes); though O'Duffy, as his first act on
becoming leader, made them ineligible for membership of the ACA - presumably
on account of their British imperialism)

They mainly acted as an unofficial adjunct to the Treatyite government up
until the hand-over of power in '32. After that date they functioned as a
'strong-arm' adjunct to the Free State party (who had formed themselves into
'Cumann na nGaedheal'), in a manner not dissimilar to Mussolini's
Blackshirts, or Hitler's Brownshirts. One of their main weaknesses (apart
from O'Duffy himself) was that they had a policy of paying their members for
'service', a policy that would place severe strains on their resources.

Their purpose was to provide muscle at their own sides' meetings, to break
up the oppositions', and to maintain a link with the armed and police forces
of the Free State (Irish police have never been routinely armed - the right
policy (bearing the memory of the RIC of British days in mind)).

There is some evidence (Regan, 1999) that they were involved in active
plotting by elements of the regime for a military coup in the 1931/32
period. This was intended to forestall the imminent outright electoral
victory of De Valera and his (Republican) Fianna Fáil party in the 1932
General Elections (this plotting luckily came to nothing).

In February 1933, the commissioner of police, the highly erratic General
Eoin O'Duffy, was dismissed from his post by the De Valera administration.
(An interesting aside: O'Duffy was head of the Olympic Council of Ireland in
those days) Amid an atmosphere of regular violence between Treatyites and
Republicans at political meetings around the country, he became the new
leader of the ACA .

On 20th July 1933, they became the 'National Guard'. (In January 1934, the
government claimed that the Blueshirts never had a strength above 20,000).

The ACA had adopted a uniform of black berets and a blue shirt (of the same
cut, colour and material as that of the Garda Siochána), a symbol (obviously
inspired by the Fascists) purportedly representing Irish Christianity
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ie-stpat.html , and a Nazi salute in
April 1933. Hence they came to be referred to as the 'Blueshirts'. They
undoubtedly had an element of anti-Semitism, and were rabidly
anti-Communist. (Regan, 1999).

Probably the moment of greatest threat to the new government came when
O'Duffy announced a 'march on Dublin' by the Blueshirts in August 1933,
ostensibly to a wreath-laying ceremony. The Fianna Fáil government reacted
by arming themselves (most were veterans, including some of the women); by
hastily recruiting an 'S-Branch' to the Gardaí of Republicans; the IRA
making plans to defend key points (with armed parties) in Dublin; and
bringing back the repressive laws FF had themselves repealed on taking
office.

In the event, the loyalties of the Army and Gardaí were never put to the
test of opposing the Blueshirts. O'Duffy called off the march, and the
crisis passed. O'Duffy changed the name of his by-now-proscribed
organisation to the 'Young Ireland Association', and, when this too was
banned, to the 'League of Youth'.

In September 1933, they amalgamated with the remnants of the demoralised
Cumann na nGaedheal, to form the rightist, conservative 'Fine Gael' party.
(They did, however, retain a distinct identity within this new organisation.
It acted as a convenient hiding-place, as a banned body, from the law.)
O'Duffy became President of the new party.

1934 saw the start of the fizzling-out of the Blueshirts, with falling
membership, financial problems and the lack of electoral success for Fine
Gael. This was in spite of an attempt to give a direction and popularity to
the movement through involvement in ongoing agrarian disputes. Eventually
O'Duffy, an embarrassment by this time (with his increasingly obvious
instability and bizarre political views), had to resign as party leader.

The end of the Blueshirt movement came in 1936, when O'Duffy led a
contingent of 600-1,400 volunteers (figures vary, but they were mostly
Blueshirts) to fight in the Spanish Civil War on the side of Franco. They
were to return home six months later, having quickly lost their enthusiasm
for it.

O'Duffy's last surfacing in national affairs, AFAIK, was when a German agent
approached him during WWII seeking an introduction to the IRA - a final
bizarre episode befitting a bizarre man.

Today's Fine Gaelers are often referred to as 'Blueshirts', in a
none-too-flattering way. In the aftermath of WWII, they tried to distance
themselves from their party's past, but the historical evidence stands for
itself.

cheers,
D.


p.s. some online Sources:

Two opposing views on the Blueshirt movement, in light of a recent TV
program on the subject:

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2001/0305/opt1.htm
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2001/0112/opt3.htm

Others:

http://www.rte.ie/tv/sevenages/prog2.html
http://members.tripod.com/spanishcivilwar/Quinn.htm
http://www.historyireland.com/resources/reviews/review2.html
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/freeearth/fe2_ireland.html

There are some interesting parallels with the British Fascisti:

http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/freeearth/fe1_britain.html

Other Sources:

John M. Regan, The Irish Counter-Revolution 1921-1936 (Gill & Macmillan,
Dublin, 1999) *highly recommended*
Tim Pat Coogan, The IRA (Harper-Collins, London, 2000)
Maurice Manning, The Blueshirts (Dublin, 1987)
Mike Cronin, The Blueshirts and Irish Politics (Dublin, 1997)


SMGCFAM

unread,
Apr 21, 2001, 8:21:59 PM4/21/01
to
>David Flood"

>Francis Jennings' Empire of Fortune about the Seven Years War in
>> North America?
>
>Who's the publisher? I might give it a read in the Summer.

W.W. Norton, New York and London, 1988. Actually, it is part of a trilogy
which includes firstly, The Invasion of America, and then The Ambiguous
Iroquois Empire. I have the latter but not yet read it. Empire of Fortune is
an interesting read. A history book one cannot put down.

Thanks for the info on the Blueshirts.

You a history major? At UCD?

David Flood

unread,
Apr 21, 2001, 9:12:03 PM4/21/01
to
"SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20010421202159...@ng-mc1.aol.com...

> >David Flood"
>
> >Francis Jennings' Empire of Fortune about the Seven Years War in
> >> North America?
> >
> >Who's the publisher? I might give it a read in the Summer.
>
> W.W. Norton, New York and London, 1988. Actually, it is part of a trilogy
> which includes firstly, The Invasion of America, and then The Ambiguous
> Iroquois Empire. I have the latter but not yet read it. Empire of Fortune
is
> an interesting read. A history book one cannot put down.

Thanks, I'll look it up...

> Thanks for the info on the Blueshirts.
>
> You a history major? At UCD?

No, thank God - I have a *career* from my third-level qualifications <g> I
wouldn't mind doing one by night, though, or one of their Archaeological
add-on degrees...

My own small amount of historical study is purely from personal interest;
and through working Summers (while a student) on stuff like Braveheart,
Saving Private Ryan, Michael Collins, Rebel Heart etc. (The Irish film
industry has been in rude health for the past eight or so years).

cheers
D.


Russ

unread,
Apr 21, 2001, 10:53:07 PM4/21/01
to
In article <9bt2ho$8b2$1...@news6.svr.pol.co.uk>, "David Flood"
<nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> writes:

>Today's Fine Gaelers are often referred to as 'Blueshirts', in a
>none-too-flattering way. In the aftermath of WWII, they tried to distance
>themselves from their party's past, but the historical evidence stands for
>itself.

Some here mistake the Blue Shirts for Republicans, when in fact they were
mortal enemies. But what's a little falsity in order to protect Brittania?

Russ

Jamie Armstrong

unread,
Apr 22, 2001, 6:50:16 AM4/22/01
to

"David Flood" <nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> wrote in message
news:9btb79$tg8$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk...

> "SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:20010421202159...@ng-mc1.aol.com...
> > You a history major? At UCD?
>
> No, thank God - I have a *career* from my third-level qualifications <g> I
> wouldn't mind doing one by night, though, or one of their Archaeological
> add-on degrees...
>
OHHHHH!!!!
Do it do it do it -You know you want to...!
;)

Jamie (Durham University Archaeology Graduate, and a currently unemployed
field archaeologist [sodding Foot and Mouth...])


SMGCFAM

unread,
Apr 22, 2001, 8:44:10 AM4/22/01
to
>You a history major? At UCD?
>
>No, thank God - I have a *career* from my third-level qualifications <g> I

Your level of knowledge reminds me of an interesting anecdote. Years ago, when
I was at UCD I made friends with another American who hung out with a crowd of
Dubliners of various occupations and ages. One was a mechanic, one was an
engineer, etc. (It is important but not vital to realize that I didn't know any
of these people very well, was just casually acquainted with them through my
friend). In any event, one night after being at a Pub for a few drinks we all
went back to my friend's bed-sitter to talk. She had just moved in and to
decorate her room had put up above her mantel a number of small reprints of
classic paintings (Rennaisance and otherwise--I seem to remember Boticelli's
The Birth of Venus, but I really don't recall, it's so long ago--suffice to say
that I could only recognize the most famous, the most universal, like the
Boticelli.) One gentleman, an older guy, distinguished by being the only one
of the group who always wore a tie and a coat (which seemed kind of incongruous
on him as he had a weathered, rugged face which suggested that he had been
exposed for long periods of time in his life to all kinds of weather in the
outdoors--perhaps it was just age) but whose name I don't remember (if indeed I
ever knew it) went over to the fireplace and named off the title and painter of
every print (about 8?). I don't think this guy was in academia though I could
be wrong. He struck me as just a common, everyday Joe and impressed me very
much by his ability to name all the paintings the way he did. I don't say this
to be a snob but just to point out that I am once again (in your case, David)
impressed with the general knowledge of an Irishman. In my present situation it
is very difficult to talk about books or art or history or even popular culture
with even college educated people. I get a lot of blank stares. I never found
this when I was overseas. I don't really want to spark debate and I know there
are many exceptions but in my experience (and the emphasis is on the my) the
level of interest and knowledge in such things as I have named above is much
greater in Ireland (and in general, throughout the Irish-British archipelago)
than where I live now. Sad really.

David Flood

unread,
Apr 22, 2001, 10:34:28 AM4/22/01
to
"SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20010422084410...@ng-cq1.aol.com...
<snip>

> I don't say this
> to be a snob

<chuckle>

Don't worry, non-Americans have never taken Yankee 'snobbery' abroad as
anything other than an object of fun:

"Gee, Margie, look - these people have electricity and everything!"

cheers
D.


David Flood

unread,
Apr 22, 2001, 10:59:22 AM4/22/01
to
"Russ" <mcr...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20010421225307...@nso-mq.aol.com...

> In article <9bt2ho$8b2$1...@news6.svr.pol.co.uk>, "David Flood"
> <nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> writes:
>
> >Today's Fine Gaelers are often referred to as 'Blueshirts', in a
> >none-too-flattering way. In the aftermath of WWII, they tried to
distance
> >themselves from their party's past, but the historical evidence stands
for
> >itself.
>
> Some here mistake the Blue Shirts for Republicans, when in fact they were
> mortal enemies.

Not quite true. Some of those caught up on the pro-Treaty side (such as
Michael Collins) were actually committed Republicans. (The difference
wasn't in the end goal, just in how to get there.)

A few of these Treatyite Republicans no doubt ended up in the Army Comrades
Association (they were a prime target for demobilisation by the Free State
government), though presumably not in their Fascist wing.

> But what's a little falsity in order to protect Brittania?

Irish history can be quite confusing (after such a long and eventful
history) - and issues often have more depth than appears at first glance
(hands up anyone who was initially confused about who 'Unionist's' were, and
that they *weren't* the people wanting to be part of a United Ireland?).

People who haven't grown up with (or read up in depth on) the subject can
quite easily make mistakes. (For example not all of O'Duffy's Irish
Brigade were Blueshirts. Some were Republicans going to fight against the
'Godless' Communists - nevertheless Irish Republicans mostly fought on the
other side)

D.

> Russ


the softrat

unread,
Apr 22, 2001, 5:32:03 PM4/22/01
to
On Sun, 22 Apr 2001 15:34:28 +0100, "David Flood"
<nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> wrote:
>"SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> wrote in message
>news:20010422084410...@ng-cq1.aol.com...
><snip>
>> I don't say this to be a snob
>
>Don't worry, non-Americans have never taken Yankee 'snobbery' abroad as
>anything other than an object of fun:
>
>"Gee, Margie, look - these people have electricity and everything!"
>
It may be in Ireland, but in France, Germany, and Czechia, I have
detected definite snarls. I hear tell that has also happened in
Russia, Dalmatia, Iran, and Mexico.

the softrat
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"We are experiencing audio technicalities" -- Ralph Kiner, N. Y.
Mets announcer

Russ

unread,
Apr 22, 2001, 10:45:39 PM4/22/01
to
In article <9burmk$aqr$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>, "David Flood"
<nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> writes:

>> >Today's Fine Gaelers are often referred to as 'Blueshirts', in a
>> >none-too-flattering way. In the aftermath of WWII, they tried to
>distance
>> >themselves from their party's past, but the historical evidence stands
>for
>> >itself.
>>
>> Some here mistake the Blue Shirts for Republicans, when in fact they were
>> mortal enemies.
>
>Not quite true.

We're using the term Republican a bit differently. <g>

> Some of those caught up on the pro-Treaty side (such as
>Michael Collins) were actually committed Republicans. (The difference
>wasn't in the end goal, just in how to get there.)

When I used the term "Republican" I meant anti-treaty, including the IRA. And
not all anti-treaty were Blue Shirts, obviously. The point I was making is
that some here equate the fascist leaning Blue Shirts with the Anti-treaty
Republicans - and they were mortal enemies.

Russ


David Flood

unread,
Apr 22, 2001, 8:35:36 PM4/22/01
to
"the softrat" <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:t6d6etgp0fvibb6sk...@4ax.com...

> On Sun, 22 Apr 2001 15:34:28 +0100, "David Flood"
> <nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> wrote:
> >"SMGCFAM" <smg...@aol.com> wrote in message
> >news:20010422084410...@ng-cq1.aol.com...
> ><snip>
> >> I don't say this to be a snob
> >
> >Don't worry, non-Americans have never taken Yankee 'snobbery' abroad as
> >anything other than an object of fun:
> >
> >"Gee, Margie, look - these people have electricity and everything!"
> >
> It may be in Ireland, but in France, Germany, and Czechia, I have
> detected definite snarls. I hear tell that has also happened in
> Russia, Dalmatia, Iran, and Mexico.

Most of the above I can understand that there may be reasons for, but *why*
the Czech Republic and Dalmatia?

D.

the softrat

unread,
Apr 24, 2001, 2:24:56 AM4/24/01
to
On Mon, 23 Apr 2001 01:35:36 +0100, "David Flood"
<nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> wrote:
>> >Don't worry, non-Americans have never taken Yankee 'snobbery' abroad as
>> >anything other than an object of fun:
>> >
>> It may be in Ireland, but in France, Germany, and Czechia, I have
>> detected definite snarls. I hear tell that has also happened in
>> Russia, Dalmatia, Iran, and Mexico.
>
>Most of the above I can understand that there may be reasons for, but *why*
>the Czech Republic and Dalmatia?
>
BTSOOM. Ask the Czechs and the Dalmatians. (BTW, *I* experienced the
snarls in Czechia myself. Most of 'em were very friendly, but
some....whooo-eeee! You woulda thought we were Germans or Russian or
sumpin.)


the softrat
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--

Invalid thought detected. Close all mental processes and restart
body.

Flame of the West

unread,
Apr 24, 2001, 4:14:13 AM4/24/01
to

the softrat wrote:

> BTSOOM. Ask the Czechs and the Dalmatians. (BTW, *I* experienced the
> snarls in Czechia myself. Most of 'em were very friendly, but
> some....whooo-eeee! You woulda thought we were Germans or Russian or
> sumpin.)

Yeah, why can't people understand that when we Americans
impose our values and culture on others, it's for their own good?
And what's this about American snobbery?

Mia Kalogjera

unread,
Apr 25, 2001, 9:51:43 AM4/25/01
to
Once upon a time, more precisely on Mon, 23 Apr 2001
23:24:56 -0700, the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> decided to
release into cyberspace:

>On Mon, 23 Apr 2001 01:35:36 +0100, "David Flood"
><nospam-...@corpoman.buyandsell.ie> wrote:
>>> >Don't worry, non-Americans have never taken Yankee 'snobbery' abroad as
>>> >anything other than an object of fun:
>>> >
>>> It may be in Ireland, but in France, Germany, and Czechia, I have
>>> detected definite snarls. I hear tell that has also happened in
>>> Russia, Dalmatia, Iran, and Mexico.
>>
>>Most of the above I can understand that there may be reasons for, but *why*
>>the Czech Republic and Dalmatia?

Where *hasn't* it happened?

>BTSOOM. Ask the Czechs and the Dalmatians. (BTW, *I* experienced the
>snarls in Czechia myself. Most of 'em were very friendly, but
>some....whooo-eeee! You woulda thought we were Germans or Russian or
>sumpin.)

We no like you! Thass all. ;)

(okay, I like *you* but then again you're the softrat)

Cheers,
Mia
--
Imagination is power.

Mia Kalogjera

unread,
Apr 25, 2001, 9:52:43 AM4/25/01
to
Once upon a time, more precisely on Tue, 24 Apr 2001
04:14:13 -0400, Flame of the West <jsol...@erols.com>

decided to release into cyberspace:

>


>Yeah, why can't people understand that when we Americans
>impose our values and culture

YerWHAT?

;)

Tamf Moo

unread,
Apr 25, 2001, 12:16:31 PM4/25/01
to
'It is a long tale,' said hash...@removethis.herzeleid.net (Mia
Kalogjera), and began:

>We no like you! Thass all. ;)

i like americans, but i wouldn't want to have them in my back yard. }:8)

>(okay, I like *you* but then again you're the softrat)

he's from the imaginary land of rattania, which makes matters worse. or
better, depending on how you trask it.

--
Tamf (who agreened strongly when her canadian friend vowed to sew maple
leaves on her backpack before going to Israel)

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages