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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 8 April, 2020

Poll: Should Irish soldiers who fought in WWII be pardoned for deserting?

They “contributed to the freedom of Europe” but were met with “starvation orders” when they got home. Should those 5,000 soldiers who fought for the Allies against Hitler’s forces be pardoned for deserting the Irish army?

Image: Irish Defence Forces via Flickr

THOUSANDS OF IRISH soldiers could soon be issued with a pardon for deserting from the Defence Forces to fight for the Allies during World War II.

Earlier this week, Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter hinted that the 5,000 soldiers could be pardoned, stating it was time to revisit the issue as the men had “contributed to the future of freedom and democracy in Europe”.

On their return from fighting WWII, the men were denied pay and pensions, banned from working for the State and their names were essentially black-listed in what were known as “starvation orders”.

The advice of the Attorney General has been sought as the campaign for a pardon strengthens on the back of official calls from Stormont.

Writing in the Sunday Business Post last weekend, Tom McGurk said that the soldiers deserted the tricolour during a national emergency and, while the “shadow over these men” could now be lifted, it still should be recognised that they had done wrong and that the State needed to take action against their desertion at the time.

What do you think?

Should Irish soldiers who fought in WWII be pardoned for deserting?

Poll Results:

Yes, they should be given a full pardon (2199)
No, there should be no pardon (450)
There should be a partial pardon given (332)

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