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De Valera’s act in May 1945 was one of moral turpitude

Letters to the Editor


Éamon De Valera

Éamon De Valera

Éamon De Valera

The commemoration of VE Day resulted in various commentators on radio and in the press referencing Éamon de Valera’s visit in May 1945 to the German delegation in Dublin to express condolences on the death of Hitler.

Minimising De Valera’s action, some explained it as a mere “tactical error” or “blunder” resulting from an over-rigid application of the principle of Irish neutrality. It was and remains a great deal more egregious than that.

Pre-WWII, throughout the 1930s, De Valera was fully aware of the barbaric conduct of Hitler’s tyrannical Nazi regime and also its reign of terror on German Jews.

During the war he was not only able to follow events but was personally informed of and received intelligence reports on Nazi barbarism and the mass murder of Jews.

Well before Hitler’s death the existence of the concentration camps was known and in the first months of 1945 international publicity revealed the fate of both the dead and the liberated skeletal survivors of the concentration camps.

Prior to the war, following the advice of its deeply flawed, pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic ambassador in Berlin Charles Bewley, the Irish Government ignored almost all requests made by terrified Jewish families for permission to reside in Ireland.

Letters in the State archives containing such requests starkly depict the horrors of 1930s Germany. Of course, Ireland’s doors largely stayed closed to concentration camp survivors taking up permanent residence in the State even after the war’s end.

By May 1945 there could be no doubt Hitler was a genocidal monster responsible for the death of millions.

No principle of neutrality compelled De Valera to express condolences on Hitler’s death. His doing so was an act of moral turpitude and showed contempt for the sacrifice of the many thousands of courageous Irish citizens who fought on the Allied side against Germany.

Alan Shatter

Former minister for justice, equality and defence, Dublin 16

'Modern, liberal' Ireland reveals double standards

We've had a lot of heat generated over the ‘Normal People’ TV series.

‘Liberals’ seem to have got themselves particularly excited over the whole thing, regarding it as a great blow for freedom, sexual maturity, etc, etc. If that’s what keeps them happy, fair enough.

Those who dared question aspects of the film were pounced on as killjoys, prudes, reactionary – the usual name calling. That old term of sneering abuse was also wheeled out – moral majority. That put us in our place.

But who are the real moral majority? The film went ahead, some people raised (by and large) reasonable objections/critiques. That was the height of it.

Compare and contrast this with the events a few months previously when a Catholic speaker, Jason Evert, was due to give a number of speeches at various locations.

They weren’t on TV, attendance wasn’t compulsory, sensitive ‘liberals’ need not attend. A storm ensued and several venues backed out for fear of the reaction.

Welcome to ‘modern, liberal’ Ireland.

Eric Conway

Navan, Co Meath

Trust in difficult science, not  illogical 'couch virologists'

With the coronavirus continuing to constrict and confine us to our homes, impatience and scepticism are growing.

While scepticism is both healthy and useful, it can transform into cynicism quickly under difficult circumstance, like the one we find ourselves in currently.

I have heard whispers within my lockdown locality, ones that ask why haven’t the “scientists” got a clear answer on whether you can catch the virus twice; others speculate if the WHO has a motive for keeping us ignorant and some just cannot understand why “they” don’t have a full understanding of the virus by now.

It was always my understanding that science was difficult, I never expected it to be made more difficult by “couch virologists” who cannot understand the science they never studied.

I am not canvassing against critical thought, but I do stand against illogical thought. If we let the science do the talking it’ll be over quicker. Let’s not put Galileo under house arrest, let’s trust in science.

Ross Kearney

Dublin 13

Curtain comes down on home-made face masks

My wife would dearly love to make face coverings for the family and friends.

However since Simon Harris seems to believe that drapery/houseware stores are there purely for the sake of selling curtains she cannot buy material or ‘knicker’ elastic to make said face coverings.

Eamon Ward

Co Wexford

Irish Independent