Ireland and World War Two Revision

Ireland and World War Two Revision - Ireland and World War...

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Ireland and World War Two Why did Ireland stay neutral? - Irish people divided between pro-British and anti-British. Neutrality the least divisive policy. - Neutrality in a war which Britain was involved was a clear statement of independence. - Self protection. “small nations like Ireland do not and cannot assume a role of defenders of just causes except their own… existence of our own people comes before all other considerations… they have to take the only chance of survival and stay out” - Other small nations like Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal and Belgium made the same decision in 1939. - Ireland one of the lucky few that was not invaded and managed to stay neutral throughout the war. - Yet, neutrality strongly biased in Britain’s favour. - Shared a land frontier with the UK - Ireland did most of its trade with Britain - De Valera kept this hidden from the public, officially the country maintained strict and even handed neutrality. Declaring Neutrality: - Measures taken to deal with any problems that might arise; o Strict censorship to stop opinion which might seem to favour one side or the other o Radio newscasts were confined to reading, without comment, the dispatches from either side. o All weather forecasts were stopped in case they helped the planes or ships of either side o Even the word war was avoided. Situation always referred to as “the emergency” Danger to neutrality - IRA - Leader Sean Russell wanted to conduct a bombing campaign in England- believed it would lead to the withdrawal of the British from Northern Ireland. - 1939 IRA launched their attack - result instead an outburst of anti- Irish feeling - IRA endangered relations with Britain - 1939 De Valera introduced the Offences against the State Act - Gave the gardai power to intern suspected IRA members without trial. - IRA threat to neutrality- worries that the British would use their attacks as an excuse to invade Ireland.
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- Or that any attempt by the IRA to link up with the Germans could compromise Irish neutrality. - No successful attempts- Germans found IRA in disarray and under constant pressure from the gardai - De Valera was ruthless against any threat to neutrality- many men imprisoned, executed. - By 1943 the IRA had almost ceased to exist. -
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course HISTORY Ireland 18 taught by Professor Drmurphy during the Spring '08 term at Trinity College Dublin.

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Ireland and World War Two Revision - Ireland and World War...

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