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Friends and EnemiesThe Allies and Neutral Ireland in the Second World War$
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Karen Garner

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781526157294

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.7765/9781526100856

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British friend, Irish foe, July to December 1941

British friend, Irish foe, July to December 1941

(p.140) 5 British friend, Irish foe, July to December 1941
Friends and Enemies

Karen Garner

Manchester University Press

Chapter 5 examines the period when Britain and America cemented the Anglo-American “special relationship,” personified in Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s deepening fraternal friendship that followed their first face-to-face meeting in August and the announcement of their shared war aims and democratic values in the Atlantic Charter. As Anglo-American relations drew closer, Anglo-Irish and Irish-American relations worsened. During this interval, David Gray and Helen Kirkpatrick stepped up their collaborations to pressure de Valera’s government to give up its narrowly “self-interested” and “dangerous” neutrality policy, as they defined it. In August and September 1941, their collusion almost caused a diplomatic incident as Joseph Walshe and other members of the Irish government believed Gray and Kirkpatrick were creating damning misinformation to force an end to the neutrality policy. During summer and fall 1941, reports of the United States’ covert efforts to fund and build bases for British and American ground troops and air forces in Northern Ireland also began to surface publicly and elicited nationalist protests from de Valera’s government. In December, when Japan, Germany’s Axis ally, attacked the United States’ Hawaiian territory and Germany declared war on the United States, America formally entered the anti-fascist war. Churchill and Roosevelt again tried to persuade de Valera that the time to join the United Nations alliance was “now or never.”

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Atlantic Charter, Eamon de Valera, David Gray, Joseph Walshe, Helen Kirkpatrick, Axis espionage

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