DUBLIN – Irish government grants pardon to thousands of WWII soldiers who deserted the Irish Army and joined liberal British forces to fight against Hitler’s army.
NDJ World | Published: Jun 12 2012 Europe→World News
At the time of the war, Ireland was a neutral country. Eamon DeValera, who was Ireland’s president during WWII signed a condolence register when Adolf Hitler died in 1945.
Over 60,000 Irish soldiers joined the British forces during WWII to fight against the ever advancing German Nazi army. More then 7,000 of them deserted the Irish army at that time.The Irish government ‘fired’ the deserters from the Irish army and prevented them from enjoying government benefits for 7 years after their names were entered in the Irish registry of deserters.
Many of those soldiers felt stigmatized as the government sanctions dragged on for decades. Soldiers and their families protested against the rulings and have been fighting since to have their honor restored.
On Tuesday, the present Irish government concluded it was time to restore honors to soldiers who fought with the British troops during WWII.
Alan Shatter, Ireland’s minister of Justice, offered his apologize to the deserters at the parliament on Tuesday saying the country was sorry for how it had treated the soldiers.
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