See & Do

  • Churchill, Hitler, and Ireland's Emergency

Readings & Lectures

Ireland took up a non-partisan position during World War II. Still reeling from the War of Independence, and the teething problems that came with being a new nation state, the government stood by the concept of neutrality that they had embedded into the constitution of 1937.

The country stood by that concept, too, although it irked Britain, Ireland's next-door neighbour and chief trading partner. Various tensions were heightened as Ireland made it clear they were not getting involved in the huge war. Britain feared that Ireland might be a back door for Germany to enter through, but all was not as it seemed.

Underneath the veneer of neutrality, Ireland fed important information to the allied powers, and when Belfast was blitzed, Irish Taoiseach De Valera sent 13 fire tenders from Dublin and beyond up to Belfast to aid with the fire fighting.

The South had a few skirmishes, too - bombs fell at Borris, Carlow, Campile, Wexford, and the Curragh. Overall though, the country was left mostly unscathed.

Unfortunately, that wasn't necessarily the case for British-Irish relations. When De Valera sent sympathies to the German ambassador after Hitler's death, angers flared, while after the conclusion of the war, an apparently drunken Winston Churchill went on the radio attacking Ireland from every angle imaginable.

Learn more about the specifics of the relationships between Churchill, Hitler and Ireland before and during the Emergency. If you adore history, you'll love this.



15 St Stephen's Green






  • Wed, 17 May 2017 19:00 - 20:00