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The IRA and the Nazis worked hand in glove

The letter (Write Back, March 7) by Tom Cooper in reply to my correspondence about IRA links to the Nazis contains inaccuracies that demand a response.

He claims that republicans did not support the Nazis, but rather used them to acquire arms and other resources. This is a propaganda tactic used by apologists who are ashamed of IRA collusion with the vile Nazis.

Cooper refers only to Sean Russell, but in fact hordes of republicans supported the Nazis. The IRA aided Nazi intelligence, organised safe houses for spies and guided Luftwaffe bombings of Belfast and Londonderry.

They also tried to engineer a Nazi invasion of Ireland ("Plan Kathleen").

The IRA's publication War News expressed satisfaction that "the 'cleansing fire' of the German armies was driving the Jews from Europe".

The fascist Irish Blueshirt movement in the 1930s, which copied Hitler's Brownshirts, was led by Eoin O'Duffy, a former IRA chief of staff.

The Sinn Fein leader JJ O'Kelly, in 1940, praised Hitler for freeing Germany from the "heel" of the "Jewish white slave traffic".

To Ireland's eternal shame, that great republican - and then Taoiseach - Eamonn de Valera visited the German legation in Dublin to sign a book of condolences and also expressed his sympathy in person at the home of the German envoy, Eduard Hempel, on the demise of his head of state, the heinous Adolf Hitler.

This was after details of the Holocaust had revealed to the world the unspeakable truths about the Nazis.

In relation to Sean Russell, while the stormtroopers were pillaging their way through Europe, Russell was given diplomatic status by the Nazis when he arrived in Berlin in May 1940.

He met with the German High Command to pursue Plan Kathleen. In August, while returning to Ireland on a U-Boat to implement these plans, with poetic justice he died onboard. He was buried at sea with full German naval honours, wrapped in a Swastika flag.

The IRA collusion with the Nazis is the modern-day equivalent of them collaborating with Isis and, indeed, there have been media reports that they have been working together on the manufacture of car bombs to attack the UK.

In relation to Cooper's specious explanation for the decimation of Protestant numbers in the South, in the First World War pro-rata many more Catholics than Protestants were killed, so that explanation does not hold. Rather, the contagion effect meant that, as Protestants watched their co-religionists being assaulted, murdered and their property burned, they took the only rational option of leaving the South. So, in essence, all of the Protestants who left the South did so under duress.

Interestingly, given the criticisms often levelled at unionist governments, Catholic numbers in the North increased steadily both at that time and in all of the following decades.

In conclusion, Cooper ignored my point that only when republican terrorists accept the Britishness of over one million unionists in Ireland will we have peace on this island.

DAVID COLLINS

Belfast

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