I have just submitted my history assignment on Irish neutrality during World War II. I was quite happy with it and am confident that my lecturer will be satisfied. I thought I had all relevent information included so I was a little disheartened to read an article in the paper today that would have not only have helped my essay immensly but would have brought it into the 21st century.
This article claims that then Taoiseach Eamon de Valera was so desperate to stop the IRA in it’s tracks during the England bombing campaign that he begged Britain to paint Chief of Staff Sean Russell as as a paid soviet agent!
Surely Dev had enough reasons to shut down the IRA without making up this rumour. His political party had been associated with the IRA for years before this but they were seen as a threat to Irish neutrality so they had to be crushed in the eyes of the governement and the Irish people. The IRA were accused of many things during WW II includning being in line with the axis. This is something that has never been officially proven but wood has been added to fire on many occasions. Sean Russell died in a German Subramine off the coast of Galway during the Emergency.
Now I am not pro-IRA or pro-Nazi but I just think that this information which may have helped me out considerably in my essay really is irrelevent today. All the relevent people, Dev, Sean Russell and Churchill are all dead and gone. Is there any real reason we should be dragging this up again.
Relations between Ireland and Britain have been strained for hundreds of years and even though it is now all but forgotten I think there will always be underlying tension that both sides try to hide on a daily basis. We don’t want to feel this way but it is something we have all grown up with, it has been instilled in us by our histories and it is something we can’t just erase. This information is just draging up the murky and tempterous histories that we both share.