23 Military Internees and the Irish Free State

In this episode we’re looking at the peculiar situation the Republic of Ireland, Eire, found itself during the second world war.

Along with countries such as Sweden, Switzerland and Spain, Eire trod the difficult path of remaining neutral. With all that entailed one question that needed to be dealt with was what to do with those servicemen from the belligerent nations who found themselves in Ireland by way of crashed planes or naval personnel rescued from the sunk shipping.

Military Internees, Prisoners of War and the Irish State during the Second World War
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Between 1939 and 1945, over two hundred German and forty-five Allied servicemen were interned in neutral Ireland. They presented a series of extremely complex issues for the de Valera government, which strove to balance Ireland's international relationships with its obligations as a neutral.

I’m joined by Bernard Kelly. Bernard is a Irish historian whose book “Military Internees, Prisoners of War and the Irish State during the Second World War” looks at these issues.