Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: v. 7: 1941-1945
Volume VII of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy chronicles Ireland’s struggle to remain neutral and sovereign during the ‘Emergency’ years. The volume provides the clearest and most accessible explanation to date, through original sources, of the rational underpinning of Ireland's wartime neutrality. The taoiseach and minister for external affairs Eamon de Valera believed that Ireland's independence would suffer if the country took part in great power quarrels. The volume gives evidence for a very real fear that participation in the war would lead to renewed civil war, given the wide public support neutrality had. The sources presented reflect British-Irish, Irish-American and Irish-German relations during the government's drive to maintain neutrality. As the likelihood of Allied victory rose, Dublin had also to ensure Ireland's independence and freedom among the great powers of the post war world. In 1945 the rise of the Soviet Union and the United States' looming replacement of Germany, Britain and France as the western superpower led to concerns that Ireland's image abroad might shrink to insignificance. Volume VII marks the beginning of this period of fundamental change in the nature and scope of Irish foreign policy.