• Due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software, some users were "banned" when they tried to change their passwords at the end of February. This does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you were affected by this, please us viua the Contact us link in the footer.

Irish govt finally issues amnesty and apology for deserters who fought the Nazis


Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,776
A good move this morning and long overdue:

Shatter finally brings in amnesty for deserters who fought Nazis - Independent.ie

THOUSANDS of Irish soldiers who deserted the Defence Forces during World War II to fight on the Allied side against the Germans will receive an official amnesty and apology from the Government this afternoon.

The bill, which was introduced by Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter, provides for the granting of an amnesty and apology to troops who went absent without leave during the war and joined the Allies to fight the Nazis.
Hopefully this will go some way to remove the stain placed on these brave men's reputations by the State and help the families get some closure. It's really pretty shocking that it's taken this long to pass a pretty simple piece of legislation.
 


Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
40,632
Their actions should be celebrated rather than meriting merely an apology.
 

ruserious

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,621
Hold on a second now lads. They were soldiers of our State who abandoned their post to run off to join a foreign belligerent in a war we were not in. The repercussions could have made us a target for the Axis and if we were invaded, there may have been manpower shortages due to the deserters.
Shunning them on return for life wasn't a good move but celebrating their desertion is equally puzzling. They should have sought a discharge and then serve.
Don't forget the time either. Just 20 years previous we were at war with the nation they left to join up with.
 

Mikey Moloney

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
739
Hold on a second now lads. They were soldiers of our State who abandoned their post to run off to join a foreign belligerent in a war we were not in. The repercussions could have made us a target for the Axis and if we were invaded, there may have been manpower shortages due to the deserters.
Shunning them on return for life wasn't a good move but celebrating their desertion is equally puzzling. They should have sought a discharge and then serve.
Don't forget the time either. Just 20 years previous we were at war with the nation they left to join up with.
Oh no you see despite your sound logic the Irish Times consensus will be that this is us "maturing" as a nation.
 

Monday Monday

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
1,339
Hindsight justifies these mens actions because of who they fought against but, you can't blame the state for doing what it did at the time.

If a soldier had deserted the army of one of the combatant nations he would have faced much worse treatment, up to and including his execution.

Close the book if you will but, let there be no blame on any side.
 

stopdoingstuff

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
22,892
I don't mind it happening but I would have preferred to see a really bitter and divisive debate first- one where it got really personal and where names were named in the national media. I mean what is the point of history other than it being a good chance to slag each other off over stuff that no longer matters? Anyway, I am glad it was done.
 

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,776
Their actions should be celebrated rather than meriting merely an apology.
The idea of changing the May bank holiday into some sort of Veteren's day has merit although would probably open wounds and discussions about who counts as a soldier.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
40,632
Hold on a second now lads. They were soldiers of our State who abandoned their post to run off to join a foreign belligerent in a war we were not in. The repercussions could have made us a target for the Axis and if we were invaded, there may have been manpower shortages due to the deserters.
Shunning them on return for life wasn't a good move but celebrating their desertion is equally puzzling. They should have sought a discharge and then serve.
Don't forget the time either. Just 20 years previous we were at war with the nation they left to join up with.
You think that the Irish Army as it stood would have had a chance against Axis forces?

We weren't at War, but it was coming pretty close. Use of the ports was a prize worth winning, and any judgement of how Germany respected Ireland's neutrality must be balanced against Hitler's respect for his deal with Stalin.

The desertions - along with the recruits who volunteered from the South allowed for a contribution to the War effort without the risks of being seen to have been officially sanctioned.
 

ruserious

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,621
Their actions should be celebrated rather than meriting merely an apology.
Celebrating Irish soldiers throwing away their oath in order to serve a foreign king? What kind of message would that send.
 

ruserious

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,621
You think that the Irish Army as it stood would have had a chance against Axis forces?

We weren't at War, but it was coming pretty close. Use of the ports was a prize worth winning, and any judgement of how Germany respected Ireland's neutrality must be balanced against Hitler's respect for his deal with Stalin.

The desertions - along with the recruits who volunteered from the South allowed for a contribution to the War effort without the risks of being seen to have been officially sanctioned.
Listen, I have nothing but admiration for the men who volunteered to join the allies who were not soldiers of our State.
But the deserters swore an oath to protect our state. It doesn't matter that we would have been trounced, they gave up the oath. The apology for the shunning is just, celebrating their desertion is not.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
40,632
Celebrating Irish soldiers throwing away their oath in order to serve a foreign king? What kind of message would that send.
It wouldn't say much. The situation remains the same: desert to join another army and you will be sanctioned.

Maybe 70 years later your acts will be recognised.

Hardly an inducement, is it?
 

ruserious

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,621
It wouldn't say much. The situation remains the same: desert to join another army and you will be sanctioned.

Maybe 70 years later your acts will be recognised.

Hardly an inducement, is it?
So it doesn't create any kind of precedent in your eyes? What if Private Bloggs in Cathal Brugha decides the Afghan war is a just war, left Ireland tomorrow to join the RIR and came home a year later. Should he be sanctioned or does he use this apology as a reasoning that his actions were perfectly ok?
 

Goa Tse

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
2,278
I don't mind it happening but I would have preferred to see a really bitter and divisive debate first- one where it got really personal and where names were named in the national media. I mean what is the point of history other than it being a good chance to slag each other off over stuff that no longer matters? Anyway, I am glad it was done.
Absolutely. There should have been long, self-righteous and tedious op-eds in State Media (Indo, Times, Daily Oirish Mail) etc written by the usual shower, ie Myers, Deadly-Edwards, Harris, with maybe John Bruton or Michael McDowell thrown in for good measure.

The kind of people, in other words, who don't actually give a rat's ass about the Irishmen who fought/died in either World War - they're only interested in using them as political footballs to score points, and labelling anyone who contradicts them as "republicans", "subversives" "people who didn't buy overpriced property at the height of the boom" etc. Same old uninspired bull5hit since the 1960's/70's. This issue is a platform upon which to have a slanging match, nothing more. With people like that framing the debate it's no wonder I'm so cynical.

The likes of Myers for instance is posessed of the 1914 mentality that would have sent 10,000 men over the top for a few feet of muddy ground from the safety of his chateau and then roundly chastised them for getting killed.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
40,632
Listen, I have nothing but admiration for the men who volunteered to join the allies who were not soldiers of our State.
But the deserters swore an oath to protect our state. It doesn't matter that we would have been trounced, they gave up the oath. The apology for the shunning is just, celebrating their desertion is not.
Ah. An oath.

I........................................................................................., do solemnly swear (or declare) that I will be faithful to Ireland and loyal to the Constitution and that while I am a member of the Defence Forces I will obey all lawful orders issued to me by my superior officers and that while I am a member of the Permanent Defence Force I will not join or be a member of or subscribe to any political organisation or society or any secret society whatsoever and that, if I become a member of the Reserve Defence Force, I will not, while I am a member of the Reserve Defence Force, join or be a member of or subscribe to any secret society whatsoever.
Nothing about protecting the state. Just guff about being "faithful to Ireland". It could be argued in good conscience that to desert was the best way to express that fidelity.
 

stopdoingstuff

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
22,892
Does anyone have any idea how much I want to troll this thread? The trouble I could start is making me delirious. But I won't.
 

ruserious

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,621
Ah. An oath.



Nothing about protecting the state. Just guff about being "faithful to Ireland". It could be argued in good conscience that to desert was the best way to express that fidelity.

Being faithful to Ireland in the first regard is maintaining your post in...Ireland.
Also, obeying all lawful orders would suggest that desertion would be going against the oath once again.
You may not appreciate if you never served, but the oath is very meaningful to anyone that has.
These lads broke it, in a time when their country needed them if there was an invasion from the Brits or the Krauts. Both had plans to, don't forget.
 

stopdoingstuff

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
22,892
Absolutely. There should have been long, self-righteous and tedious op-eds in State Media (Indo, Times, Daily Oirish Mail) etc written by the usual shower, ie Myers, Deadly-Edwards, Harris, with maybe John Bruton or Michael McDowell thrown in for good measure.

The kind of people, in other words, who don't actually give a rat's ass about the Irishmen who fought/died in either World War - they're only interested in using them as political footballs to score points, and labelling anyone who contradicts them as "republicans", "subversives" "people who didn't buy overpriced property at the height of the boom" etc. Same old uninspired bull5hit since the 1960's/70's. This issue is a platform upon which to have a slanging match, nothing more. With people like that framing the debate it's no wonder I'm so cynical.

The likes of Myers for instance is posessed of the 1914 mentality that would have sent 10,000 men over the top for a few feet of muddy ground from the safety of his chateau and then roundly chastised them for getting killed.
Well yeah but a point comes where it is just better not to let it become a cause for division. I do not agree with their decision to not stay at home and join the Irish Army but there is nothing to be gained from dragging it up again. Better to let it fade into the past.
 

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top