Emergency, War and their Aftermath

Ian S. Wood

in Britain, Ireland and the Second World War

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780748623273
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651412 | DOI:
Emergency, War and their Aftermath

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Germany's surrender and the end of the war in Europe prompted huge celebrations in the centre of Belfast on Tuesday, 8 May. In Dublin, the Irish Times celebrated the victory of Britain and its allies with a front-page design intended to mock and defy a censorship whose role was already redundant. Churchill paid generous tribute to Northern Ireland but was unable to resist a final condemnation of Éire's neutrality, though he did acknowledge the thousands of Éire men and women who had enlisted in the British forces. Whether Irish neutrality has really been compatible with western democratic values either in the war against Hitler or in the much longer Cold War with the Soviet bloc that followed, it is likely to engage historians for a long time yet. Where the struggle to crush Hitler is concerned, there is little doubt that the Irish state's neutrality or non-belligerency was benign to Britain and its allies, increasingly so as their cause became certain to prevail.

Keywords: Second World War; Belfast; Dublin; Northern Ireland; Irish neutrality

Chapter.  9460 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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