This is a true story that few want to acknowledge because it’s shameful. It sheds light on an aspect of WWII that needs to be told, if only for those brave men who suffered because of pure vindictiveness.
An article in the Mail Online tells the story of a couple of airman who, along with 5000 others who suffered a similar fate, were secretly blacklisted by Irish Prime Minister Eamon de Valera, a man who publicly offered his condolences to the German government on Hitler’s death in 1945. Was Eamon de Valera naïve enough to believe that Adolph Hitler would have left Ireland alone if they had conquered Britain and the rest of Europe?
The story begins with the story Martin Walsh of a young airman who had done is bit to defeat Hitler and make the world a safer place. He was anxious to be back with his family and friends at the end of the war. Instead of a hero’s welcome he was faced with the fear of being arrested and locked up.
At first Walsh was reassured that he would not be arrested as he stepped off the ferry, but what the letter failed to mention that he was on a secret blacklist personally authorized by the prime minister Eamon de Valera.
“He would be banned from a job in any civil service department, town hall or state-run service such as the post office, the health service, bus, rail and shipping companies. There would be no pension or benefits. In Ireland, he was effectively a non-person.”
Another man Pat Reid who fought the Japanese in India and Burma, searched for a job for 15 years after he returned home to Ireland. His family grew up in poverty and relied on handouts and soup kitchens to survive.
“The shocking plight of Ireland’s post-war dispossessed — victims of a vengeful anti-British administration — has recently come to light and a campaign is underway for those few still alive to be pardoned. Indeed, signs indicate that the Irish government is indeed soon to redress what many now see as a stain on the nation’s history.”
I hope you decide to read the complete article by clicking on Daily Mail.