suggests Hitler bombed Ireland deliberately as a warning.
Fear of aerial bombing was legitimate, and the strongest argument for neutrality early in the war.
But it does not hold after mid-war, when Germany could no longer project such aerial power.
Ireland could have switched openly to the Allies after 1942
with little risk.
was Ireland's only Jewish TD.
Despite being a member of the ruling Fianna Fail party
and a personal friend of the Taoiseach De Valera,
even Briscoe was unable, though he made repeated efforts,
to secure an entry visa for his aunt Hedwig, who lived in Berlin.
was eventually deported to Auschwitz and murdered.
In the end, more than 150 members of Briscoe's extended family were murdered in the Holocaust.
Dr. Kevin McCarthy.
That really sums it up.
De Valera let Nazi and Croat war criminals
find refuge in Ireland after the war:
The "chickenhawk" argument
was actually used against those few lonely voices in Ireland
that supported the Allies against the Nazis in WW2.
of Fine Gael was
almost the only major voice in Ireland saying we should join the Allies
against Nazi Germany.
Dail, 13 November, 1946:
urges the government not to let
head of the Irish Nazi Party,
and wartime Nazi propagandist,
return to his
pre-war post as director of the National Museum of Ireland:
"I remember at one time there was a "wangle" to restore to public employment in this country
a gentleman who was at one time leader of the Hitler Youth in this country
and a colleague of the head of the Gestapo in this city.
Will the Minister give us a guarantee that Dr. Mahr who is at present holding office,
on leave of absence without pay, as Director of our Museum,
is not coming back under this scheme? Is he or any of his ilk
going to come here under this scheme?"
Frank Aiken of Fianna Fáil
defends the Nazi,
and sneers at Dillon for his support for the Allies:
"I take it that if the gentleman who was in charge of the National Museum
were to come back to Ireland to work, it would be in the Museum, and not in the academy,
that he would work. I have no brief for him.
I do not know whether he will ever come back to this country or not.
Deputy Dillon wants to take advantage of this Dáil to abuse everybody,
right left and centre, to kick people who are down, but I say this for that gentleman,
that he went towards the fighting, unlike Deputy Dillon."
In this little sneer, and the moral emptiness at the heart of it,
I think Frank Aiken
sums up the world of de Valera's Fianna Fail during WW2.
Fine Gael were the most pro-allied party, but their party line was to go along with FF in staying neutral.
was almost the only one to break ranks and say we should join the Allied effort.
For all their "anti-fascist" spoof,
I'm not aware of any left-wing Irish politician who said we should join the fight against Hitler.
If you know of any, tell me here.
I agree with Churchill
on Ireland's treachery.
Ireland was a democracy, one of the only democracies in a world full of genocidal
communist and fascist
And it should have stood with the other democracies in World War Two.
(who lived in Ireland as a child) said:
"The sense of envelopment, which might at any moment turn to strangulation, lay heavy upon us. We had only the northwestern approach between Ulster and Scotland through which to bring in the means of life and to send out the forces of war.
Owing to the action of Mr. de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of southern Irishmen, who hastened to the battlefront to prove their ancient valor,
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 Valera or perish forever from the earth.
However, with a restraint and poise to which, I say, history will find few parallels, we never laid a violent hand upon them, which at times would have been quite easy and quite natural, and left the de Valera Government to frolic with the German and later with the Japanese representatives to their heart's content.
When I think of these days I think also of other episodes and personalities. I do not forget
Lieutenant-Commander Esmonde, V.C., D.S.O.,
Lance-Corporal Keneally, V.C.,
Captain Fegen, V.C.,
and other Irish heroes that
I could easily recite, and all bitterness by Britain for the Irish race dies in my heart.
I can only pray that in years which I shall not see,
the shame will be forgotten and the glories will endure, and that the peoples of the British Isles and of the British Commonwealth of Nations will walk together in mutual comprehension and forgiveness."
Britain would certainly have been entitled to invade my country, Ireland,
if the alternative was losing the war.
It was Ireland's most shameful moment in all of its history.
A disgusting editorial in the
May 5, 1945,
on the deaths of Roosevelt, Mussolini and Hitler,
sums up the amoral world of Irish neutrality.
De Valera, a man with no moral compass,
called to the Ambassador of Nazi Germany in Dublin,
"I certainly was not going to add to his humiliation in the hour of defeat."
He threw away all goodwill from the victors of WW2 for years after the war.
From a moral point of view it was unforgivable.
And from a selfish, self-interest view it was also unforgivable!
What an idiot.
Minister for Defence (Alan Shatter) announces pardon for the Irish who fought for the Allies, Dail announcement, 12 June 2012.
"On behalf of the State, the Government apologises for the manner in which those members of the Defence Forces who left to fight on the Allied side during the Second World War, from 1939 to 1945, were treated after the war by the State.
Those who fought on the Allied side also contributed to protecting this State's sovereignty and independence and our democratic values."
Every country has awkward facts that destroy any simple narrative of their history.
Ireland's no.1 awkward fact is
Ireland is only free because of the British military.
This is not to say that the British military has always been good for Ireland.
That would be another false narrative.
Rather it is to focus specifically on the 1940s.
Ireland was a continuous democracy
before, during and after WW2.
throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
Our democracy never stopped.
We never lost it.
Because Britain held the line almost alone against the Nazis until 1941,
and then went on with America and other democratic allies
to save Western European democracy from both Hitler and Stalin.
Powers much bigger and stronger than us would have snuffed out our democracy in a heartbeat.
Hitler and Stalin snuffed out democracy everywhere they went.
But being positioned behind Britain meant we were saved.
Britain saved us from Hitler and Stalin.
It is very awkward.
It is a real spanner in the works of the Irish nationalist narrative developed over 1916 to 1939.
Within 20 years of independence, the simple narrative of "Britain bad for Ireland" was destroyed, when Britain saved Ireland.
Ireland has done its best to ignore this, but the fact is still there, and will always be there
for anyone who cares to think.
Irish nationalism has never come to terms with the destruction of its narrative in 1939-45, and maybe never will.
History is complex.
The rescue scene
in the movie Dunkirk (2017).
Ireland is only free because these men escaped France in June 1940 and Britain was saved.
Does anyone in Ireland care?
Churchill's "We shall fight on the beaches" speech
in June 1940 after Dunkirk.
Whatever else he did in a long career,
Churchill saved Britain and Ireland from extinction.
Ireland needs to recognise this some day.
The strange end of the
Battle of Britain,
Oct 1940, when the Germans, after crippling losses, basically gave up
on the invasion of Britain for the moment.
(Though aerial bombing continued into 1941.)
This is the ending scene of the movie
Battle of Britain
Ireland is only free because these men won and saved Britain.
Our democracy would have been snuffed out in a week if they lost.
They saved us too.
Most Irish nationalists cannot deal with that. Even today.
British troops wading ashore from landing craft, Sword Beach, D-Day, 6 June 1944.
From National Army Museum.
Ireland is only free because these men won the war.
Blocked on Twitter by the regressive left and Islamists:
I love debate.
I love ideas.
But the Western left
and their friends the Islamic right
do not return the favour.
Their response to opposing ideas, whether expressed politely or robustly, is often to block.
See Who blocks me on Twitter.
I will debate almost anyone.
Stick to ideas and I will debate you.
But I do have rules.
See Who I block on Twitter.
The Twitter dark age, 2016 to 2022:
I am on Twitter at
Twitter was a great place for debate before 2016.
You could meet everyone in the world, and argue about ideas.
Starting in 2016,
Twitter became increasingly broken.
It became full of reporting and bans and censorship.
In 2019, Twitter even started
for no reason that was ever explained, or could be appealed.
arrival of Elon Musk
in 2022, Twitter's dark age of censorship may end.
Let's hope so.