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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Éire: Crisis and Survival

Éire: Crisis and Survival

(p.48) 3 Éire: Crisis and Survival
Britain, Ireland and the Second World War

Ian S. Wood

Edinburgh University Press

The speed and brutality with which the German Reich had crushed neutral states in Scandinavia and the Low Countries posed all too clearly the question of Éire's capacity for self-defence, even as its defence forces began to undergo expansion. The related issue of accepting British help against any German invasion also had to be faced, though, in talks in June 1940 with Malcolm MacDonald, de Valera declined to enter into any overtly defensive arrangements with Britain. What seemed, in that year's fevered summer and autumn, to be an increasingly imminent German move against Ireland had been prefaced by highly secret talks, in late May, between British officials and Joseph Walshe of the External Affairs Department, as well as senior officers in G2, the Irish army's intelligence unit. These contacts can be traced back to the period after the 1938 agreement on the Treaty Ports when Walshe approached the Dominions Office on the question of Anglo-Irish security liaison. This laid the foundations for an important degree of wartime cooperation between specialised British agencies and their Irish counterparts.

Keywords:   self-defence, German Reich, defence forces, security liaison, wartime cooperation

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