Chapter

Setting the Stage: April 1937–August 1939

Robert Cole

in Propaganda, Censorship and Irish Neutrality in the Second World War

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780748622771
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651337 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622771.003.0002
Setting the Stage: April 1937–August 1939

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The ‘war of words’ over Irish neutrality actually began in 1937 when the Free State adopted the Irish word for Ireland and officially became ‘Eire’. Taking the name ‘Eire’ was the Free State making a symbolic claim to all of Ireland; declaring itself a neutral state was drawing a line between Ireland and Great Britain. The Gaelic American added sympathy for Germany to its vituperative commentary on England – all to further the cause of Irish nationalism. The Irish Press was the primary press supporter of the neutrality policy; the pro-British Irish Times argued that it was unrealistic. Propaganda channels included broadcasting. Cinema was likewise an effective propaganda channel. In September 1939, the United States was also neutral, and the British Ministry of Information was far removed from being in a position to disseminate much of anything resembling propaganda in Eire.

Keywords: Irish neutrality; Eire; Ireland; Great Britain; United States; propaganda channels; Gaelic American; Irish Press; Irish Times

Chapter.  7855 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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