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Britain, Ireland and the Second World War$
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Ian S. Wood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623273

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623273.001.0001

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The Origins of Éire's Neutrality

The Origins of Éire's Neutrality

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Origins of Éire's Neutrality
Source:
Britain, Ireland and the Second World War
Author(s):

Ian S. Wood

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623273.003.0001

When, on the evening of Sunday, 3 September 1939, Éamon de Valera broadcast to the people of Éire, as the Irish state had been renamed two years earlier, Britain and France had already declared war on Germany. His wholly predictable message was that his government would stay out of the conflict, adhering, it has been said, to a stance of non-belligerency rather than one of neutrality in the sense in which that word had been used and refined over many years by jurists and writers on interstate relations. De Valera's statement was a product not only of the dramatic shift of political power that had brought him to office in 1932, but also of the 1921 treaty itself.

Keywords:   Éamon de Valera, Second World War, non-belligerency, neutrality, interstate relations, Britain, France, Germany

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