Eire's Neutrality

Niamh Tracey
Mind Map by Niamh Tracey, updated more than 1 year ago
Niamh Tracey
Created by Niamh Tracey about 4 years ago


Mind Map on Eire's Neutrality, created by Niamh Tracey on 09/08/2016.

Resource summary

Eire's Neutrality
1 Attempts to persuade Eire to enter the War
1.1 As early as April 1939, de Valera declared that Eire would stay neutral if war broke out
1.2 Eire was the only member of the British Commonwealth not to go to war with Germany
1.2.1 De Valera knew most people in Eire were not pro-German but neither were they pro-British. Some people actually favoured helping Britain to fight Germany
1.2.2 Only neutrality could hold the balance between these groups. Staying neutral would not be easy for Eire as it had strong economic links and it was geographically close to Britain. British merchant ships supplied Eire with coal and other essential raw materials
2 British attempts to persuade Eire to join the war
2.1 When the Germans defeated and occupied France in June 1940, Britain and its empire stood alone against Hitler
2.1.1 The Birtish need all the help they could get, especially as the USA was still neutral. Eire could provide much needed air and naval bases for the British to use in the Battle of the Atlantic and to defend Britain from invasion
2.2 Attempt 1 (June 1940)
2.2.1 In June 1940 after Germany defeated France and Britain withdrew from Dunkirk the British tried to persuade Eire to join them in a defensive agreement. They proposed that if Eire allowed access to ports in Eire and British planes to be stationed in some areas they would provide equipment for the Irish army and agree to a united Ireland ' at an early date '. When Craigavon heard of this he was outraged
2.2.2 De Valera rejected the offer anyway for two reasons- 1. At this stage it looked like Germany was going to win the war 2. He felt that if Eire did enter the war, it would lose its independance
2.3 Attempt Two (December 1941)
2.3.1 When the Japanese attacked Pearl harbour on the 7th December 1941, Germany also declared war on the USA. Churchill tried again to persuade de Valera now that both Britain and the USA were fighting. He said in a telegram 'Now or never "A Nation Once Again" ' Again de Valera declined
2.4 Attempt Three (1942)
2.4.1 In Mid 1942 the Battle of Britain was at its peak and German U-boats were sinking a lot of allied merchant ships in the Atlantic. Churchill asked de Valera for the return of the Treaty ports to Britain so that the Royal Navy could use them as bases for their convoy escort ships.
3 Benevolent Neutrality
3.1 Although Eire was neutral it was biased towards the Allies
3.1.1 The Donegal Air Corridor- With a secret deal in January 1941, de Valera allowed the RAF to overfly part of County Donegal. This avoided a 100 mile detour and allowed the planes to patrol an extra 100 miles
3.1.2 De Valera sent 13 fire engines and 71 firemen from Eire to help during the Blitz (April-May1941)
3.1.3 As Eire was meant to be neutral they were supposed to imprison any servicemen from countries involved in the war who ended up on its soil. However Eire allowed allied men to 'escape' across the border while German pilots and sailors were imprisoned In February 1945 de Valera gave the British permission to build secret Radar bases in Eire 43,000 people from Eire joined the BAF, including 5000 that left the Irish army to join
4 Strict Neutrality
4.1 Dealing with the IRA - The IRA was one of the biggest threats to Eire's neutrality. The IRA attacks could have provoked Britain to enter Eire and cause war between the to countries. De Valera to prevent this arrested and interned suspected IRA members in Eire. IRA violence stopped by 1943
4.1.1 De Valera rejected attempts by the British to persuade him to allow allies to use airfields and ports The Allies demanded that de Valera close the german ambassodars office in Dublin as they thought spies used these. De Valera refused
4.1.2 When Hitler committed suicide de Valera visited the embassy in Dublin to offer his condolences. The allies were furious but de Valera justified it by saying he was being even handed Strict censorship was imposed by the Irish press to stop any public expression of opinion which might favor one side or the other
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