Skip to comments.Why Irish soldiers who fought Hitler hide their medals
Posted on 12/28/2011 5:32:30 AM PST by the scotsman
'Five thousand Irish soldiers who swapped uniforms to fight for the British against Hitler went on to suffer years of persecution.
One of them, 92-year-old Phil Farrington, took part in the D-Day landings and helped liberate the German death camp at Bergen-Belsen - but he wears his medals in secret.
Even to this day, he has nightmares that he will be arrested by the authorities and imprisoned for his wartime service. "They would come and get me, yes they would," he said in a frail voice at his home in the docks area of Dublin. And his 25-year-old grandson, Patrick, confirmed: "I see the fear in him even today, even after 65 years."
Mr Farrington's fears are not groundless. He was one of about 5,000 Irish soldiers who deserted their own neutral army to join the war against fascism and who were brutally punished on their return home as a result.
They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.
A special "list" was drawn up containing their names and addresses, and circulated to every government department, town hall and railway station - anywhere the men might look for a job. It was referred to in the Irish parliament - the Dail - at the time as a "starvation order", and for many of their families the phrase became painfully close to the truth.'
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
That’s awful. God bless and keep these brave men for their sacrifices. Too bad they didn’t emigrate to the US after the war. They would’ve been welcomed with open arms.
Is there still animosity between the different factions on the Isles? I’m of Scottish lineage, but most of my predecessors have played their pipes to the Pearly Gates.
We’re off to Dublin in the green, in the green
Our helmets glistening in the sun
Where the bayonets flash and the rifles clash
To the echo of the Thompson gun
Talk about cutting off your nose to spite the face.
I believe there are some Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and Belgians that have the same problem, and they won’t be seen wearing their Iron Crosses.
It’s understandable, really, when you look at the history of British policies that had the intention of Irish genocide.
G-d bless these men.
This is a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and the Irish enmity to England has very deep roots. There is a program on the Smithsonian Cable Channel, “Cromwell: God’s Executioner”, that details just one series of episodes in a very long line.
It appears that this feeling is diminishing now but I have a hunch that it is still a bred-in-the-bones thing that can resurface. When you experience an 800+ year battle for independence from a much stronger nation, this feeling does not disappear after just a generation or two.
“Is there still animosity between the different factions on the Isles?”
Does the sun still rise in the east every day?
True. Yet I see so many ignorant fools on FR begging for "let it all crash" and "bring on civil war II."
They have no idea how such things typically go, as with 1916 in Ireland or 1920's in Berlin.
During WWII the IRA would light fires on roofs in Belfast to guide in German bombers.
I’ve also heard that that was a myth. But some of my English friends still spread it around. Is there some documentation on this?
If the Irish had been tangling with the Germans instead of the British, the Irish countryside would be scared with mass graves and burned out villages.
Penetrating political analysis has never been a strong attribute of the Irish, whether there or here.
They define this as “brutally punished”: “They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.”
That’s pretty routine in many countries for deserters. If Ireland had been at war, they could have been shot!
Millions starved to death as the Brits stole their livestock and feasted accross the Iris Sea not 100 years before the rise of Hitler. An injustice such as that is not just forgotten.
The Irish are superb at the Blame Game as Eugene O’Neill once pointed out. Whether Irish-American or citizens of the Old Sod. (And I should know!)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.