Soldiers betrayed oath they took
Madam -- I read Emer O'Kelly's article 'Vitriol over 'deserters' reveals hatred beneath mask' (Sunday Independent February 19, 2012) not having previously heard of the alleged furore about this issue. I do not believe such contempt exists for Irish soldiers who deserted to the Allies in the Second World War.
It is believed that Tom Crean did not speak of his exploits in the Antarctic, because they were carried out under the British flag. Thankfully today, his heroism is celebrated regardless -- a sign of the modern era of inclusiveness.
The real point seems to have been brushed over in the article, that these men committed a cardinal sin as soldiers -- they deserted to a foreign army. They took an oath, and betrayed it -- that was the real issue.