Unit 9 - Eire Neutality

Nicole Bratton
Mind Map by Nicole Bratton, updated more than 1 year ago
Nicole Bratton
Created by Nicole Bratton almost 4 years ago


Mind Map on Unit 9 - Eire Neutality, created by Nicole Bratton on 09/08/2016.

Resource summary

Unit 9 - Eire Neutality
1 Attempts to Persuade Eire to enter the War
1.1 British attempts
1.1.1 When the Germans defeated and occupied France in June 1940, Britain and her empire alone stood against Hitler
1.1.2 The British needed help as at this stage the USA was still neutral.
1.1.3 Eire could provide much needed air and naval bases for Britain to use in the BATTLE OF BRITAIN and to defend Britain from invasion.
1.1.4 ATTEMPT 1 In June 1940 (after the retreat from Dunkirk and Frances occupation) Britain tried to persuade Eire to join them in a defensive agreement They proposed if Eire allowed British ships access to ports in Eire and allowed British troops and planes at certain places in Eire they would provide equipment and... They would agree to a UNTIED IRELAND at an early date Craigavon was OUTRAGED De Valera declined as... At this stage it looked like Germany was going to win the war, and if they did they would grant a united Ireland anyway He felt if they entered the war Eire would lose it's independence
1.1.5 ATTEMPT 2 When the Japanese attacked the Americans at Pearl Harbour (7th December 1941) Germany also declared war on the USA Churchill again tried to persuade de Valera to join now the USA and Britain had joined forces 'NOW OR NEVER A NATION ONCE AGAIN' He was again offering a United Ireland DE VALERA DECLINED
1.1.6 ATTEMPT 3 In mid-1942 the BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC was ats its peak and german U-boats were sinking a lot of allied merchants in Atlantic Churchill asked for the Treaty ports to be returned, so the Royal navy could use them as bases for convey ships AGAIN De Valera refused
2 Neutrality
2.1 As early as April 1939, de Valera declared that Eire would stay neutral
2.1.1 Only member of British commonwealth not to go to war with Germany. Most Eire residents were not pro-german but they were not pro-british either Some people favoured helping Britain fight the germans and neutrality was the only way to keep the peace between these two groups Neutrality would prove difficult because Eire was geographically close to Britain and had very strong economic links eg trade
3 Benevolent Neutrality
3.1 Although Eire was officially neutral they were in fact biased to the Allies
3.2 Donegal Air Corridor
3.2.1 In a secret deal with the British in January 1941, de Valera allowed the RAF (& US Air forces later) to overfly part of county donegal This avoided a 100 mile detour around the northern tip of county Donegal It also allows Allied planes from Castle Archdale to patrol an extra 100 miles out into the Atlantic which meant conveys were better protected
3.3 Belfast Blitz
3.3.1 De Valera sent 13 fire engines and fire-fighters from Drogheda, Dublin and Dundalk to help with the devastation De Valera complained to the German gov. about the raid on 'his people' This breached neutrality and also risked a revenge attack from the Germans
3.4 Allied Airmen 'escaping'
3.4.1 Neutrality meant that Eire was supposed to imprison any servicemen from countries involved in the war eg shipwrecked sailors or pilots Eire allowed crews of Allied ships or planes to 'escape' back across the border While all Germans were imprisoned
3.5 Secret Radar Bases
3.5.1 In Feb 1945 (when it was clear Germany was going to be defeated) De Valera gave the British permission to build secret radar bases in Eire
3.6 Irish Citizens joining British Armed Forces
3.6.1 Despite neutrality 43,000 Eire citizens joined the British armed forces including 5,000 who left the Irish army to join. Those who served won 8 Victoria crosses De Valera did nothing to stop this
4 Strict Neurality
4.1 IRA
4.1.1 IRA attacks in Britain and on NI bases could have provoked Britain into invading Eire and start a cival war (as they hoped) To prevent this de Valera arrested and interned suspects 6 IRA men were executed and 3 allowed to die on hunger strike
4.2 Allies not allowed to use ports and airfields in EIRE
4.2.1 De Valera rejected attempts by British and later Americans to try to persuade him he also wouldn't allow British troops on Eire soil
4.3 Refused to close offices of German and Japanese Ambassadors in Dublin
4.3.1 despite the British and Americans demanding it they argued they were bases for spies
4.4 Sympathy Visit
4.4.1 When Hitler committed suicide in April 1945, de Valera visited the German embassy to offer condolences This outraged British and Americans as his treatment of the Jews had been discovered De Valera defended himself as he had also offered condolscences to the USA after Roosevelt
4.5 Censorship of press
4.5.1 Strict censorship imposed on Irish press to stop any public opinions which might favour one side
5 NI's Attitude
5.1 Sir Basil Brooke and the unionists were disgusted by Eire's decision to stay neutral


  • Sir Basil Brooke and unionists were disgusted with Eire's decision to stay neutral
5.1.1 Eire's neutrality drove Northern Ireland and Eire even further apart Relations warmed between North and South when de Valera sent the fire engines etc to help with the Belfast Blitz But de Valera's refusal to close the German and Japanese Embassies in Dublin meant that Eire was viewed with suspicion and as a base for spies gaining info from southerners working in the North
5.2 British Attitude
5.2.1 The British tried their best to try and get Eire to join the war Despite promises of a United Ireland and pressure from the USA De Valera did not join the Allies This frustrated war leaders eg Churchill but many British people understood de Valera's position and saw that Eire's policy of benevolent neutrality was still extremely helpful
5.3 USA Attitude
5.3.1 President Roosevelt saw Eire's neutrality as 'a serious impediment to the war effort' When American troops arrived in NI de Valera protested to the US embassy he said they were 'an unwarranted interference in IRISH affairs' David Gray (US Amb) pointed out he had not protested to the German embassy when the Luftwaffe bombed Belfast Gray was critical of Eire's neutrality and of de Valera personally
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