#OTD in 1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Winston Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Few outside of Ireland could understand the neutral stance of the Irish Free State during the war. Churchill most certainly did not when he said:

“Owing to the action of Mr de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of Southern Irishmen who hastened to the battle-front to prove their ancient valour, the approaches and the Southern Irish ports and airfields could so easily have guarded were closed by the hostile aircraft and U-boats. This was indeed a deadly moment in our life, and if it had not been for the loyalty and friendship of Northern Ireland we would have been forced to come to close quarters with Mr. de Valera or perish forever from the earth.”

De Valera can claim little credit for offering condolences to Germany on the death of Hitler, but his response to Churchill is generally accepted as one of his…

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