Thursday 8 December 2016

Letters: Was WWII Ireland saved at the expense of others?

Published 31/08/2015 | 02:30

Eamon de Valera
Eamon de Valera

De Valera's view on neutrality in WWII was to save the people from war and from nightly aerial bombings of our cities and large towns - while he hoped, or was cautiously confident, the Allies would win.

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Irish people seemed to support his neutrality stance and the late British actor George Cole, in Dublin as a teenager, saw the burning of an effigy of the British PM Neville Chamberlain and in his memoir in 2013, he wrote of "a tremendous antipathy among the Irish towards the British at the time... to say it was frightening would be an understatement".

The naval ports were returned in 1938 by the British to the Irish government and even with the outbreak of war and all that was at stake of what could happen to Ireland, there was a reluctance to allow the ports be used again by the British navy.

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