Sinn Fein to endorse veterans pardons


The statue of IRA leader Sean Russell

Wed Jan 4, 2012

Northern Ireland’s Republican party Sinn Fein will probably support a campaign in Ireland to pardon 5000 men who deserted from the country’s forces to fight for Britain in World War II.

Sinn Fein has announced its readiness to endorse the measure in the Dail, the Irish Parliament, for a pardon, The Times reported.

During the war, Irish Republicans said that they would welcome German invaders as “friends and liberators”.

Johnathan O’Brien TD, Sinn Fein’s justice spokesman, said that the party’s position was still under review, but party officials spoke of the pardon as a matter of natural justice.

“Of course these men should be pardoned,” said a Sinn Fein spokesman. “These are old men who fought in a world war against fascism. They fought for a just cause. I don’t imagine anyone would claim they shouldn’t have the same rights as anybody else.”

Thousands of Irish citizens volunteered for the British forces during the war, but those who deserted the Irish forces to do so were penalised.

Under Emergency Powers Order 362, Eamon de Valera’s Government stripped 4983 soldiers of their military pensions and barred them from government jobs.

Campaigners for a pardon said that Sinn Fein’s support would help to reduce historic divisions in Ireland.

In July 1940, as the Battle of Britain began, the IRA said in An Phoblacht, the republican newspaper, that if “German forces should land in Ireland, they will land . . . as friends and liberators of the Irish people”.

As recently as 2003 Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fein’s vice-president, spoke at a memorial rally for Sean Russell, the IRA leader who went to Berlin during the war to seek Hitler’s support.

See also:

How De Valera asked UK to smear IRA chief Sean Russell

Mike Thomson investigates secret Anglo-Irish co-operation against the IRA in the 1930s

Related posts:

  1. Bombshell poll makes Sinn Fein largest party in Northern Ireland
  2. Kenny denies Sinn Féin approach
  3. *Sinn Fein would tell IMF: ‘You need to go’
  4. Dissidents determined to kill Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams
  5. *Sinn Fein reiterates opposition to Lisbon Treaty
  6. ETA ceasefire met with mistrust by Spain, but a positive reaction from Sinn Fein
  7. G-20 Arrests a “Dry Run” — Sinn Fein Veteran
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes