Event Title

Irish Neutrality During the Emergency: Ideology and Practicality

Location

Diamond 153

Start Date

30-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 11:55 AM

Project Type

Presentation- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

At the onset of the Second World War, Ireland sought to maintain its independence it had recently acquired from the British Crown by adopting and maintaining a policy of neutrality. The neutrality proclamation came from Irish leader Eamon de Valera, who linked Irish independence to their neutrality in a war involving the British Commonwealth. The reasons for the policy of neutrality stems from the history that the Irish had shared with the British, and the memories of centuries of subjugation under the Crown, but despite their official opposition to supporting the Allied side, the actual stance Ireland adopted was much closer to one of support of Britain and her main ally, the United States. The reasons for the implicit Irish support of the British and American forces was seen through their actions during the war, which mainly included returning downed British pilots over Eire to their units, whereas downed German pilots would remain in Irish captivity for the duration of the war. The Irish were also hindered by the stance of Winston Churchill and his strong opposition to Irish neutrality, which led him to explore stopping British food supplies from entering Ireland, which would have brought the Irish government to its knees. Lastly, the historiography of Irish neutrality during the Second World War is a general consensus, but initially, some saw Irish neutrality as an insult to their membership in the British Commonwealth and questioned the motives and actions of de Valera and Ireland, who was driven primarily by domestic factors towards a stance of neutrality.

Faculty Sponsor

Raffael Scheck

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. History Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1731

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Apr 30th, 10:30 AM Apr 30th, 11:55 AM

Irish Neutrality During the Emergency: Ideology and Practicality

Diamond 153

At the onset of the Second World War, Ireland sought to maintain its independence it had recently acquired from the British Crown by adopting and maintaining a policy of neutrality. The neutrality proclamation came from Irish leader Eamon de Valera, who linked Irish independence to their neutrality in a war involving the British Commonwealth. The reasons for the policy of neutrality stems from the history that the Irish had shared with the British, and the memories of centuries of subjugation under the Crown, but despite their official opposition to supporting the Allied side, the actual stance Ireland adopted was much closer to one of support of Britain and her main ally, the United States. The reasons for the implicit Irish support of the British and American forces was seen through their actions during the war, which mainly included returning downed British pilots over Eire to their units, whereas downed German pilots would remain in Irish captivity for the duration of the war. The Irish were also hindered by the stance of Winston Churchill and his strong opposition to Irish neutrality, which led him to explore stopping British food supplies from entering Ireland, which would have brought the Irish government to its knees. Lastly, the historiography of Irish neutrality during the Second World War is a general consensus, but initially, some saw Irish neutrality as an insult to their membership in the British Commonwealth and questioned the motives and actions of de Valera and Ireland, who was driven primarily by domestic factors towards a stance of neutrality.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/444