|Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2)|
In support of pardons for servicemen who allegedly deserted the Irish Defence forces during world war two and whom in August 1945 were dismissed en masse and in absentia by the Irish government pursuant to Emergency Powers Order (No 362) 1945.
|Last Update : Tuesday 14 May 2013|
|Latest and Archived News: Notices Page|
Due to health concerns for our few surviving elderly world war two veterans the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2) will no longer be giving out their contact details irrespective as to query source. However, footage of various interviews broadcast on RTE 1, TV3, NDR Fernsehen, Das Erste TV, Deutsche Welle TV (Brussels), BBC One, RTE Radio, Newstalk Radio, BBC Radio 4 etc, along with a plethora of articles and letters published worldwide, should be available to an enquiror. There is also a lot of information throughout this website and links to other projects which may be informative and can be freely used in articles, bibliography, projects, if required. For other enquiries contact email: email@example.com - Mobile: 00353872769707
Honoured At Last - Saturday 7 July 2012
On Saturday 7th July 2012, at the Royal British Legion Annual Commemoration and Wreath Laying-Ceremony held in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, Dublin, a Poppy Wreath With A Tricolour Ribbon attached was placed at the memorial on behalf of the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2). The inscription by Patricia Grant-Reid on the remembrance card reads: Honoured At Last: These brave and noble men; So long denied and vilified; Now take their place among; Our heroes of the past, (see also Deserted by Paddy Reid). Although the Wreath Laying at the Irish National War Memorial officially concludes the effort of the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2), the campaign organisational structure will be kept in abeyance until such time as the Irish government introduces and brings into law their Promised Legislation. Irrespective as to whether its amnesty, pardon, a combination of both or none, it is ultimately a matter for the Minister for Defence Mr Allan Shatter TD and the Irish government to make a considered decision based on all the facts. The Public Statement by Irish Government of the 12 June 2012 declaring their intent to resolve the issue insofar as practicable is a welcome and honourable panacea, consequently there is no need for the campaign to add further comment other than what has been outlined on the following pages. Thereafter the website will be kept online for the foreseeable future.
Irish Government Statement - Tuesday 12 June 2012
Following the Announcement in Dail Eireann Tuesday 12 June 2012 by Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter TD, on behalf of the Irish Government, the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2), would like to take this opportunity to commend Minister Shatter for having the wisdom, compassion and moral courage in taking positive action to enable a resolution on the pardons issue to be achieved which will remove in so far as practicable the stigma of dishonour attached to those named as dismissed for desertion in the republished Blacklist. From the outset the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2) has never sought any compensation for veterans or their families and neither is compensation or any other pecuniary benefit deemed appropriate. Consequently the proposed legislation which the Minister intends to introduce later this year will not give rise to any right or entitlement or to any liability on the part of the State. There have been many organisations, veterans associations, politicians of different hues, members of The Media, individuals and particularly the ordinary man and woman in the street throughout Ireland and abroad who supported the TEAM EFFORT and who are now entitled to share in the collective credit. On behalf of the very few elderly survivors left and their families we thank you all (Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léar).
Founded and launched in Ireland on the 6 June 2011 the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2) is organised and coordinated from Dublin and is not associated with any publisher, author, political, religious or military grouping. From the outset the construction, management and hosting of this website has been financed exclusively from an old age pension income. Coordinator, Peter Mulvany BCL, HDip Arts Admin, is a law graduate and post graduate of University College Dublin; an Arts Administrator by profession, a former local government official and a retired Dublin Bus Driver. As this web site is periodically edited/updated with additional points of information, corrections etc, and in order to work through some of the hyperbole surrounding the debate on the desertion/pardons issue it is in the interests of all concerned to be fully cognisant of the background outlined in the following web pages in particular A Pardon For Irish Soldiers Irish Times dated 2 February 2012; Process Was Legally Flawed From the Outset in the Irish Medical Times dated 23 March 2012; and the Irish Times editorial Time to Pardon dated 26 January 2012. It should also be noted that Emergency Powers (No 362) Order 1945 introduced post war by the de Valera government to dismiss and punish rank an file defence force personnel was subsequently amended on the 22 February 1949 by the newly elected Fine Gael coalition government pursuant to the Section 8 of the Defence Force (Temporary Provisions) Act 1949 which removed the harsher sections of the order but retained the dismissal section, the section on evidence and in particular retained the section which excluded officers from any penalty within its terms of reference. This legislative response initiated by the Fine Gael led coalition to address justifiable political and legal concerns surrounding the detrimental effects of the original order shows that the new Government which had argued vociferously against its introduction while in opposition was determined to resolve the issue insofar as the political mosaic of the 1948 elected Dail Eireann/Irish Parliament would allow. However as the Blacklist of Irish defence force personnel dismissed for (alleged) desertion can now be purchased Online from a British publisher which in our view subjects the few remaining elderly veterans and the families to further hurt and public opprobrium, and even though there are extant cogent legal grounds for revoking the original order in full and grant an amnesty, instead, a pardoning route was suggested to government as a potential resolution to respect all concerns. Cognisant that the Republic of Ireland is said to guarantee religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens and promises to cherish all the children of the nation equally as proclaimed in the 1916 Proclamation and reflected in the Constitution of Ireland Bunreacht na hÉireann and successor laws, can it not also be said that the treatment of former defence force personnel accused of desertion by the de Valera government post war clearly indicates a contradiction of those republican ideals and that in actual fact when it suits a political agenda some of the children of the nation are deemed less equal than others ?
Historians - Commentators
Although legitimate questions as to who deserted and why, the historical context and argument surrounding the Neutrality issue etc have been vigorously debated by all concerned nonetheless some contributions need to be clarified. For instance, one author advised that 4983 deserters went to fight against fascism, and yet there is no extant research to indicate/quantify who joined UK forces or who in the Blacklist went AWOL to work in the UK. Interestingly on the 16 January 1945 Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Mr. Emrys Evans MP commented "it has not been possible to decide what numbers of His Majesty's Forces come from Eire and which do not. We have made great efforts to find out, but it has not been possible", confirming the British government at that time could not supply accurate statistics as to who had joined UK forces from Eire never mind calculating as to where alleged deserters went and why, although it is suspected the vast majority of those in the blacklist did join UK forces. Another author states that deserters were court-martialled by the Irish government and yet no court-martial/military tribunal was convened to determine their guilt or innocence. The same author also stated that children of these UK forces personnel were targeted for abuse and yet no extant documentary evidence appears in the Child Sexual Abuse reports to corroborate his assertion. Another commentator indicated a figure of 4634 as dismissed from the defence forces pursuant to Emergency Powers (No.362), Order 1945, and yet there are 4983 defence force personnel listed in DeValera’s Republished Blacklist. Another commentator opines about a lack of information to indicate the class or where the deserters came from, and yet the address and former employment of each is stated in the republished blacklist. Another historian made comments on a television interview in 2011 about the blacklist and its content, and yet had not seen the contents of the blacklist until February 2012. The same historian has also asserted on several occasions that a judicial outcome as a result of a court-martial could have had a more serious consequence for the individuals concerned in comparison to the Political Process that was initiated thereby putting forward speculative argument as to potential military judicial outcomes which lacks cogency as that opinion ignores the absence of due process to which service personnel are entitled pursuant to the Constitution of Ireland Bunreacht na hÉireann and disregards the Separation of Powers provision contained within the constitution which ensures that no one organ of the Irish State may interfere with the functions ascribed to the other two. So what could be construed as an absence of due process in relation to the treatment of defence force personnel alleged to be deserters by the Irish government post world war two? To clarify, a common thread of modern legal maxims gives two criteria for due process: “Notice” and “a meaningful opportunity to be heard.” if a person involved in a case isn't “notified” of the proceedings, there is no due process. And, if for any of many reasons, the proceedings fail to provide “a meaningful opportunity to be heard,” there is no due process. Personnel dismissed for alleged desertion pursuant to Emergency Powers Order 362 of 1945 were CONVICTED...and...PUNISHED...in ABSENTIA...UNHEARD...BY POLITICIANS and such procedure amounts to an ABSENCE OF DUE PROCESS. As several hundred men named in the Blacklist were members of the Construction Corps and designated as Non-Combatants it would be interesting to hear as to what punishment would this historian award in their case? In contrast commissioned defence force officers were deliberately excluded from the effects of Emergency Powers Order 362 by the De Valera government. Another commentator writes about defence force deserters, oaths, dishonour and shame in a disparaging contemptuous manner reflecting Oscar Traynor’s Words of Condemnation that these Irish defence force (alleged) deserters are not worthy of consideration, and yet the 1937 Irish Constitution guarantees legally enforceable fundamental rights and imposes on the Irish state the obligation to guarantee and defend those rights, which begs the question, do such commentators fully comprehend that accused persons have a right to due process according to the Constitution of Ireland Bunreacht na hÉireann, which clearly recognises the supreme authority of the people and not the dominance of the state over its citizens. Commentators should also note that the military offence of desertion as reflected in Section 42 (1) of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions Act), 1923 and successor Acts clearly states inter-alia that "PERSONS SUBJECT TO MILITARY LAW.... SHALL, ON CONVICTION BY COURT-MARTIAL....BE LIABLE TO SUFFER" which affirms the legal position that military courts are the final arbiter of the guilt or innocence of persons subject to Irish military law and political cabals do not have jurisdiction to award punishments upon persons who are subject to military law. Commentators should also be cognisant of military law regarding the offence of Mutiny and Sedition pursuant to Section 36 of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 and successor Acts. As all officers and men of the Irish Defence Forces were persons subject to Irish military law pursuant to the provisions of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 then in force, the ultimatum on the 6 March 1924 by Irish army officers led by a Major General Tobin see Pathe News records 3000 Rebellious Troops was a direct challenge at the time to the democratic foundations of the Free State and their frank expression of military discontent was mutiny as proscribed by Irish military law which required adjudication according to Irish military law. However despite his leading role as instigator of the Army Mutiny Tobin was permitted to exit the Irish Defence Forces without sanction and subsequently ended up as Superintendent of the Houses of the Oireachtas during The Emergency. Interestingly while Mr de Valera and the Irish Parliament/Dail Eireann was ousting the jurisdiction of the military court process for ordinary rank and file personnel Blacklisted pursuant to Emergency Powers Order 362 on the 8 May 1945, the person in charge of security in the same Irish Parliament/Dail Eireann was a Mutineer, or to be precise as Tobin was never tried or convicted by Court-Martial, an alleged former Mutineer who in March 1924 had as a senior commissioned officer of the Irish Defence Forces directly challenged the democratic institutions of the Irish state thereby repudiating the oath which he had previously sworn to bear true faith and allegiance to our country and faithfully serve and defend her against all her enemies, see Form of Oath or Declaration to be taken pursuant to section 21 second schedule of the Act. Following his death on the 30 April 1963 Major General Tobin an alleged mutineer was accorded full Irish defence force military honours and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin, See Tobin-Liam Biography. To re-state... the military legal process relating to allegations of Desertion, or Mutiny and Sedition irrespective of rank is thus.....Every Person Subject To Military Law....Shall on Conviction by Court-Martial....and its CONVICTION AND PUNISHMENT BY COURT-MARTIAL AND NOT CONVICTION AND PUNISHMENT BY POLITICIAN/POLITICAL CHAMBER....Consequently an Irish Military Court has sole jurisdiction to make determinations as to the guilt or innocence of accused defence forces personnel as persons subject to Irish Military law and to award punishment upon conviction by the court and that's THE LAW. Historians should also be cognisant of the unanimous five-judge Supreme Court judgement reported in the Irish Times 7 December 2012 which has widespread implications for other administrative decisions where unfairness is alleged. Giving the court’s judgment in favour of the appellant, Mr Justice Nial Fennelly observed that developing Irish jurisprudence provided compelling evidence that it must now be “unusual” for a decision-maker to be permitted to refuse to give reasons. He said “Where fairness can be shown to be lacking, the law provides a remedy”, "Persons affected by administrative decisions should have access to justice and the right to seek court protection to ensure the rule of law had been observed, fair procedures were applied and their rights not unfairly infringed". Mr Justice Fennelly also said there was an emerging commonly held view that persons affected by administrative decisions had a right to know the reasons for them so they could understand them and, if they chose, challenge them in the courts. Other commentators in analysing the desertion rate to overall strength for the Irish defence forces during the period 1939 to 1945, assert a figure of 10% desertion. The Blacklist which lists those dismissed for desertion is a combination of several categories of enlisted defence force personnel, e.g. regulars, reservists and those who had signed up as volunteers for the duration of the Emergency. This record includes the names of 756 regular army personnel who had left the colours, some 1313 personnel of the 1st and 2nd line reserves, the remainder were volunteers which includes members of the construction corps. The figure of 40000 being quoted by some commentators as the total strength in the Irish Army relates to regulars + reservists and does not include those who volunteered for the Local Defence Force which was approx 98000 who were later absorbed into the Defence Forces. A calculation of the total strenght e.g. 40000 (which is a combination of regular army + reservists) + the estimated 98000 personnel serving in the Local Defence Forces = 138000. Consequently the 4983 personnel recorded in the blacklist represents 3.61% of the total. Irrespective a forensic comparative study of extant documentation would prove useful in establishing the facts. While it is obvious the debate surrounding the desertion issue will continue nevertheless in the interests of establishing some semblance of historical accuracy aspiring historians/academics would be better advised to step down from their ivory towers and do more research before making further assertions...and the subject matter does require more objective scrutiny.
Help for Surviving Veterans - UK Forces
The Army Benevolent Fund have offered to support surviving veterans who are advised to contact SSAFA through their local Royal British Legion branch and take up any offer of assistance. If a veteran needs assistance from SSAFA Forces Help the criteria is one days pay in HM Forces and 7 days pay for help from the Royal British Legion. These organisations are always willing and ready to assist any surviving veteran who is in financial need and who is eligible. Requests for assistance are always treated in confidence: Links to Royal British Legion Branches: Combatants pay a high price for the failure of governments to pursue democratic outcomes to international disputes and the psychological effect of combat stress still endures for survivors. Indeed families also become unwitting victims and that experience transcends the generations. Combat Stress delivers dedicated treatment and support to ex-Service men and women with conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders. There is nothing wrong about going to ask for help and if you suspect a problem don't procrastinate go and seek that help.
Contacts - Veterans Records - UK Forces
Help for Surviving Veterans - Irish Defence Forces
Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann Teoranta is the official name of the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women (O.N.E.T) and is dedicated to looking after the welfare of ex-service personnel of the Irish Defence Forces. There is nothing wrong about going to ask for help and if a veteran suspects a problem go and seek that help through their website link. See also Defences Forces Appeal Will Help Homeless Veterans - Irish Independent: Campaign To Help Ex-Defence Forces Staff In Trouble - Irish Times: Please note former defence force personnel who were dismissed from the defence forces pursuant to Emergency Powers Order 362 of 1945 and who were honourably discharged from UK Forces should initiate enquiries for assistance through their local Royal British Legion Branch.
Contacts - Veterans Records - Irish Defence Forces
Records of personnel who served in the Irish defence forces during the Emergency e.g. 1939-46, are held in the Irish Military Archives, Cathal Brugha Bks, Rathmines, Dublin 6, and if available can be accessed subject to the discretion of the Officer In Charge. The Military Archives/Frequently Asked Questions Section should be reviewed before making direct contact. Please be assured enquiries to the military archives are always treated in confidence.
It is recommended that "The Irish Defence Forces 1940- 1949: The Chief of Staff’s Reports" (Dublin, 2011), (Michael Kennedy and Victor Laing (eds.), published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission; The Constitution of Ireland/English Version Bunreacht na hÉireann/Irish Version and relevant case law be consulted as essential primary source material in the first instance, other bibliography should be available in local libraries or book stores. To rebut some of the hyperbole on the desertion issue it has been found necessary to restate some points ad nauseum consequently discerning readers may find this website repetitive and cumbersome, however the text will hopefully assist all concerned to work through the various issues:
Following the inauguration of the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2) on the 6th June 2011 a Submission Appealing for Pardons was made on the 7 June 2011 to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., who on the 9 June 2011 replied extending best wishes to the campaign and noted points raised. In accordance with protocol An Taoiseach referred our submission to his colleague Minister For Defence Alan Shatter T.D, for his consideration. Senator David Norris, Mr Ged Nash T.D, Mr Joe Costello T.D, Senator Mary Ann O'Brien, Senator Maurice Cummins - Fine Gael Whip - Leader of the Seanad and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Mr Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D,, Joanna Tuffy T.D. Dublin Mid West, Labour have since raised the issue of pardons in Seanad Eireann and Dail Eireann. Mr P Weir MLA DUP Mr G Campbell MLA DUP Mr W Humphrey MLA DUP have also proposed a motion in support of pardons in the Northern Ireland Assembly:
We would also like to highlight the unanimous support of The Regimental Association of The Ulster Defence Regiment CGC Portadown Branch who have made a representation to An Taoiseach. Mr Billy Hutchinson leader of The Progressive Unionist Party of Northern Ireland and Cllr Michael Copeland MLA of The Ulster Unionist Party have registered their support for the objectives of the Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign (WW2) with An Taoiseach. Support has also been indicated by The Royal British Legion Birkenhead - Boston & District Branch The Royal British Legion - The King's Regiment Association Liverpool - The Royal Naval Association Birkenhead - The Market Garden Veterans Association Nijmegen - Dr Gerald Morgan Trinity College Dublin - The Merchant Navy Association, Wirral Branch, Birkenhead - Mr Frank Robinson MBE Irish Guards Association Republic of Ireland Branch - Mr Robert Bruce OBE (former Royal Irish Regiment officer) - Mr Tony Boyle MM Lt (Rtd) (AATTV) Australian Special Forces Vietnam - Captain Joe Eastwood Lancashire Fusiliers (Rtd) - Irish Veterans Memorial Project - Mr Sean Crowe T.D. Sinn Fein - Mr Dessie Ellis T.D. Sinn Fein - War Years Remembered Museum - Photographer Michael Stamp - Reform Group Ireland for a New Generation - Mr Malachy Steenson Workers Party of Ireland - Councillor Ray McAdam MCC Fine Gael - Mr Pat Cox former MEP Presidential Candidate - Mary Davis for President Campaign Team - Cllr Philip Cantwell Trim Town Council and Mr George McIntyre, Chairman Newcastle Branch National Union of Journalists former national president NUJ and Member of Honour NUJ and NUJ Liaison Officer to the Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign indicated his support. As the pardons issue is believed to be under active consideration by the Irish government any developments that may arise from their deliberations will be posted on the Notices Page of this website: Thanks to all concerned:
During World War Two approximately 5000 service personnel from the Irish defence force who (allegedly) deserted and joined the allied war effort were subsequently dismissed on the 8th of August 1945 by Irish government decree en masse, unheard and in absentia following the wars end. It is a basic tenet of Irish constitutional law that citizens have a right to defend themselves and defendants subject to military law, even when on active service, have the same rights to a defence as the Shot at Dawn Campaigns have proved. Emergency Powers (No. 362) Order 1945, introduced by the Irish government to deal with alleged deserters, was a vindictive rough political instrument of injustice, arbitrary in its application and by disregarding their fundamental rights as citizens denied Irish defence force personnel who had allegedly deserted and joined the allied effort in their fight against fascism the right to defend themselves before a military tribunal. Irish defence force (alleged) deserters were treated differently depending on whether they stayed in Ireland or went abroad to fight with the allies. The exclusion of officers from its terms of reference and impact should have raised concerns as to class bias. By August 1945, the de Valera government had constructed a unique political instrument to deal with the military offence of desertion in such a way that the rights of individuals were abrogated for the sake of political expediency. Oscar Traynor then Minister for Defence opined during the passage of the Order through Dail Eireann that these alleged deserters both survivors and those who had lost their lives were worthy of very little consideration, and yet some years after the wars end when SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Waffen-SS Otto Skorzeny wanted to come to Ireland the same Oscar Traynor had no difficulty in permitting this committed Nazi to legally enter Ireland. Former SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny was the coordinator at the time of ODESSA in Spain and it was he who managed to route Dr Josef Mengele to South America and away from the Nazi Hunters evading justice for his war crimes. In contrast, Irish defence force (alleged) deserters some of whom paid the ultimate price and who now rest in eternal silence on the various battlefields throughout the world are still regarded with dishonour by the Irish government. Post 1945, one of the most repugnant instruments of printed injustice directed at service personnel Emergency Powers (No. 362) Order 1945 was placed on the Irish Statute book, which resulted in the compilation of a list of those who had (allegedly) deserted the Irish defence forces during the Emergency and who had fought for the allies during WW2. This was then distributed on a confidential basis by the Irish government to all state authorities barring their employment and various entitlements from state sources for seven years. Surely in this new dawn of Irish-Anglo relationships an Irish Government has the political capacity, wisdom and compassion to initiate a mechanism which will in so far as practicable re-instate those Irish defence force (alleged) deserters many of whom went to fight on behalf of the free world during world war two.....their memory deserves that at least…...or is it the case that Oscar Traynor’s Words of Condemnation still apply and that these Irish defence force (alleged) deserters are not worthy of consideration ?
IRA Prisoners -'Tintown' Curragh Internment Camp 1939-45:
In contrast to the harsh treatment meted out to defence force (alleged) deserters who were barred inter-alia from working in state companies for 7 years pursuant to Emergency Powers Order 362, the following are interesting examples of how the de Valera government dealth with former IRA internees post war:
Máirtín Ó Cadhain who became an IRA Recruiting Officer in Dublin and is said to have recruited Brendan Behan, was appointed to the IRA Army Council in 1938 and later interned in the Curragh Internment Camp from 1940-1945. Released in June 1945 many former IRA Internees from the Curragh Internment Camp had the opportunity of seeking work in Bord Na Mona, the ESB and other Irish semi state organisations. Mr Ó Cadhain who described himself as a "civil servant" was subsequently employed as a translator on the staff of Leinster House/Dail Eireann from 1949 to 1956 when he became a lecturer in Modern Irish in Trinity College Dublin.
Seamus O'Donovan was a leading Republican who collaborated with the Nazis during world war two. Mr O'Donovan worked with the Irish Electricity Supply Board and despite his activity , which included three years imprisonment, remained with the state run ESB until his retirement in 1961.
Official Ireland - World War Two - Nazis and their Collaborators:
Have We Finally Figured Out Who The Real Traitors Were? - Herald Article by Gerry Gregg - 10 May 2013 - Dublin.
RTE TV1 Hidden History - Ireland's Nazis - Youtube Videos:
Cathal O'Shannon showed how official Ireland turned a blind eye as Nazis and their collaborators who came to Ireland after world war two made a new life for themselves. Prior to the transmission of the programme Mrs Elizabeth Clissmann made a complaint about this documentary which was upheld in June 2007 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission in relation to impartiality. Helmut Clissmann was assisted by Sean McBride, then Minister for External affairs to travel to Ireland in June 1948, despite the fact that British intelligence did not want him to leave Germany, indeed they also advised that Helmut Clissmann should not have been de-Nazified into category V which was the category of least politically involved Nazis. Germans placed in that category were allowed to leave Germany provided their applications came within the approved category of travel. See also British Foreign Office File Helmut Clissmann 11 June 1948 pdf ; Helmut Clissmann Recategorisation of Status 13 July 1948 pdf. Helmut Clissman joined the Nazi Party on the 1 May 1934 and during world war two was inter-alia attached to the Brandenburg Regiment. The Clissman's are also known to have worked with SS-Brigadeführer Edmund Vessenmeyer. While appointed German Plenipotentiary delegate in Hungary, Vessenmeyer reported in a telegram dated 11 July 1944 to the German Foreign Ministry that 437,402 Jews have been deported - Auschwitz was their final destination - see Copy Telegram.
Nazi Protocol of January 20, 1942 - Final Solution on the Jewish Question - Irish Citizens:
On the 20 January 1942 at the Berlin-Wannsee Conference High Third Reich officials including the Chief of the Sicherheitspolizei Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann Reichssicherhauptamt (RHSA), took the executive decisions for conducting the Final Solution of the Jewish Question - Page 6 of this document contains a precise number of Jews scheduled for extermination with a breakdown of the specific regions involved. Although the overwhelming majority lived in Eastern Europe, Ireland's Jewish population calculated at 4000 were listed. The accuracy of the numbers shown in this document would indicate that members of the Nazi party and their collaborators based in each country including Ireland before the War are responsible for its compilation and that it was also the intention of the Nazis to exterminate Irish citizens. See also Wansee Protocol English Translation : List of Nazi Party Members in Ireland Prewar : Nazis Were Preparing to Invade Ireland :
Families of Service Personnel:
Irish Constitution - Re: The Administration of Justice:
The Constitution of Ireland - The Emergency 1939-1946:
The 1937 Irish Constitution made provision in Article 28.3.3 for the declarations of emergency by both Houses of the Oireachtas and to provide for constitutional immunity for legislation enacted under cover of these declarations. Article 28.3.3 of the Constitution provides that: Nothing in this Constitution other than Article 15.2.2 shall be invoked to invalidate any law enacted by the Oireachtas which is expressed to be for the purpose of securing the public safety and the preservation of the State in time of war or armed rebellion, or to nullify any act done or purported to be done in time of war or armed rebellion. In this sub-section “time of war” includes a time when there is taking place an armed conflict in which the State is not a participant but in respect of which each of the Houses of the Oireachtas shall have resolved that, arising out of such armed conflict, a national emergency exists affecting the vital interests of the State and “time of war or armed rebellion” includes such time after the termination of any war, or of any armed conflict as aforesaid, or of an armed rebellion, as may elapse until each of the Houses of the Oireachtas shall have resolved that the national emergency occasioned by such war, armed conflict, or armed rebellion has ceased to exist.
The first set of resolutions were passed on 2 September 1939 immediately after the passage of the First Amendment of the Constitution Act 1939. On the following day, the Emergency Powers Act 1939 was duly enacted under cover of the Article 28.3.3 resolutions. This comprehensive item of legislation, which was expressed to be for the purpose of “securing public safety and the preservation of the State in time of war”, continued in force until 1946 when it expired. Accordingly, by the 1st April 1946 there was no longer any emergency legislation in force which depended for constitutional survival on the 1939 emergency resolutions. Remarkably, however, the Article 28.3.3 resolutions themselves were permitted to continue in force despite the end of World War II and despite occasional protests at the irrationality of keeping the State in a condition of ‘Emergency’ unrescinded until 1976. Despite the absurdity of this state of affairs, the artificial maintenance of this declaration of emergency had no real practical consequences as the last emergency legislation had expired on the 1st April 1946.
It is instructive to note the submission on the 31 August 1976 by An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Liam Cosgrave TD to Dail Eireann as he moved the resolution to introduce Emergency Powers Bill 1976 and the Criminal Law Bill 1976, which was later passed by the Irish Supreme Court In Re Art 26 and the Emergency Powers Bill 1976 recorded at 1977 Irish Reports 159. Mr Cosgrave stated inter-alia 'there have been comments and headlines which suggested that the Oireachtas was to be asked to suspend the Constitution. Deputies will appreciate, I am sure, that this is not so. If it were true, the Constitution would have been suspended since 1939. The reality is that it has not been so suspended by adoption of the present resolution. The protection from Constitutional challenge which would be afforded would extend solely to laws expressed to be for the purpose of securing public safety and the preservation of the state'. The Irish Supreme Court decision in Re Art 26 and the Emergency Powers Bill 1976 is the legal authority which establishes that an Emergency Powers Bill leaves general constitutional rights intact. Interestingly while the court let the 1976 resolutions pass it also also reserved its position in regard to reviewing future resolutions which might be based on a spurious "Emergency". Notwithstanding other imperatives with regard to human rights law which are enshrined in the Irish constitution, the law on universal rights has been progressively developed by Irish and other international legal authorities since 1940. See also; Law in the Republic of Ireland.
Dail Debates 10 December 1948 - Review of EPO 362 - Desertion during the Emergency:
The issue of the effects of Emergency Powers Order 362 of 1945 upon certain categories of defence force personnel punished as deserters in absentia was of concern to the new coalition government as Minister for Defence Dr O'Higgins opined in the Dail Debates of December 1948: "we have inflicted enough punishment; we have made it clear to everybody in this generation and in the future that the crime committed by these men is a serious crime and that we will do our utmost to prevent its repetition; but that we will not, in addition to penalising the soldier, continue to penalise the soldier's family". The blacklist produced by the previous de Valera government post war lists 4983 defence force personnel dismissed from the defence forces for desertion. This confidential document also includes a reference to the army number, name, last recorded address, date of birth, declared occupation prior to enlistment in the defence forces, and the date of dismissal from the defence forces of each alleged deserter.
Dr O’Higgins Minister For Defence in the coalition Government of 1948 during the second stage of Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) No 2 Bill, 1948 stated: "that the number of people that all regard in the fullest sense as deserters, those men who left the colours and went elsewhere, is 3756. The total number of deserters, under the legal interpretation of the regulation as it stands, is 4861. 756 were regular army soldiers who had deserted. 2518 were men who had enlisted for the emergency. 1313 were reservists who had been called up for permanent service. The reservists mentioned, that is 1313, include men who failed to respond to the initial call, who were subsequently released and who failed to report at a further calling up". "The trouble is, by administrative investigation, to be able to segregate the sheep from the goats. They all say they did not get the calling up notice. That is not true in all cases". Minister O’Higgins to Oscar Traynor TD: "These people to whom the Deputy is referring at the moment are people who appeared to be Bona Fide as a result of a process of investigation but who did not get a call up notice. Legally they were deserters but were not with the colours and left".
The list of (alleged) deserters pursuant to Emergency Powers Order 362 of 1945 which was disseminated confidentially by the de Valera government totals 4983. The figures recorded in the Dail Debates for December 1948 following an investigation are totally inconsistent with the numbers published in the secret government blacklist of 1945. Taking into account the clarification in 1948 of these figures and the subsequent investigation by the Minister for Defence to establish the bona fides as to whether some people had received their call up papers or not, it is now apparent that there are several hundred individuals listed as deserters who should not have been listed in the first place. Indeed the whole issue of the military offence of desertion should have been left to the defence forces to sort out. A comparison with the other figures indicates there are serious discrepancies if it was accepted that many of those 1313 reservists did not get their call up papers as they had already gone to join the allied effort and had not been in the country when these call up papers were issued to their home address. It is also apparent that the Minister for Defence had accepted that argument and apparently Oscar Traynor in opposition accepted that too. Effectively the combination of figures promulgated re deserters in the Dail Debate of October 1945 Motion to Annul is in contrast to the figures recorded in the Dail Debates in December 1948 which indicate the probability according to the criteria then in force that hundreds of defence force personnel were erroneously convicted of an offence of desertion in absentia which they may or may not have committed raising a reasonable doubt as to the probity of the actual numbers who may have deserted. The fact that this list is now in the public domain compounds that issue and subjects the few survivors left and the families to further hurt and public opprobrium. 4983 defence force personnel have been named and shamed as deserters in this document and it is apparent from the 1948 Dail Debate's that this figure is incorrect which raises other issues relating to legality.
Launched on Tuesday 8 November 2011 by An Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD a book The Irish Defence Forces 1940-1949 The Chief of Staff's Reports records "In all some 4600 N.C.Os. and men were dismissed under the terms of the Order by 8th, August 1945 (date of Order) and a further 150 with effect from various dates since". (Michael Kennedy and Victor Laing (eds.), The Irish Defence Forces 1940- 1949: The Chief of Staff’s Reports (Dublin, 2011), p 478 , published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission. 4983 defence force personnel are listed as dismissed for desertion in the blacklist disseminated by the Irish government post war, which is in contrast with the total figure of 4750 dismissed for desertion recorded in the Chief of Staff's Reports at the time.
Emergency Period 1939-46 -
Strength of the Irish Army - Official figures:
On the 1 June 1940 the front page of the Irish Times carried a half page advertisement reading: 'DEFEND THE NATION. IRELAND WANTS MEN! She wants them at once! She wants you ALL!' Volunteers were to report to Garda stations from the 2 June and ask for a National Service Enrolment form. Minister for Defence Oscar Traynor, in a radio broadcast on the night of 31 May, appealed for recruits, explaining in his conclusion that 'there is little to say except that the country's security is at stake. The manhood of Ireland must make it secure to the very limit of the capacity of each and all of us' (Irish Times, 1 June 1940). 'From the inauguration of the National Recruiting Campaign on Sunday, June 2 1940, the response was remarkable 24,846 men offered their services during the five week period June 5th to July 12th' (Michael Kennedy and Victor Laing (eds.), The Irish Defence Forces 1940- 1949: The Chief of Staff’s Reports (Dublin, 2011), p35, published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.
Terms of Enlistment - Irish Defence Forces - 1 June 1940:
Men could either enlist in the Regular Army for the normal period of 2 years in Army Service and 10 years on the reserve; or enlist in the Volunteer Force for a minimum period of 5 years with the first 3 months spent in Army Service and during the balance of the 5 years were liable to be called out to serve with the forces; or enlist in the Regular Army for the duration 'only' of the Emergency; or men could enlist in the Construction Corps for a period of 12 months with the option on discharge of joining the Regular Army. A Local Security Force was also organised for those who could not join the Defence Forces, but who in their spare time wanted to assist in the security of their local area.
On the 1 June 1940, in a radio appeal to the nation, Oscar Traynor TD Minister for Defence, stated "Now I would like to make an appeal to parents. Some of you have boys naturally imbued with a martial spirit, and who have given expression to that spirit by joining forces which are not controlled by the Government. Some of these young fellows have joined without realising that they were doing anything wrong. Their action was, I have no doubt, inspired by patriotic motives, and in the light of representations made to them they probably felt that they could serve their country that way. " That they have been misled and are acting entirely illegally has probably never been pointed out to them, and they, therefore do not see the error of their ways". Will you tell these boys of yours that their duty is to the elected Government of this country? Persuade them to give up their unlawful associations and to offer allegiance to the only authority that has the god-given right to speak and act on behalf of the nation"
Traynor's recognition that young Irishmen were volunteering for UK forces because of a feeling that this was the best way to protect Eire in June 1940 as German forces reached the channel ports in their advance across Europe is succinct. However his reference to the illegality of enlisting in UK forces is arguably moot as the Irish Government was from the outset of the second world war cooperating with the British as a precautionary measure against the threat of a German invasion. Interestingly while the Minister for Defence was praising young men who saw it their duty to defend the state by fighting in UK forces he was also seeking to persuade these men to desert and return to Eire to defend the state. For the record, Irishmen in UK Forces along with thousands of other service personnel who fought and died in the Battle of Britain and thereafter on the various battlefields of world war two were also the guarantors of Irish neutrality.
Causes for Paucity of Recruiting: The Irish Defence Forces : 1 April 1941 - 31 March 1942:
'There are several reasons which explain the low level of recruiting throughout the year. The principal of these are thought to be:-
1.The fact that the remuneration offered to a soldier is so much lower than that in other occupations and the knowledge that if he got married while in the Army he would have to support his wife for an indefinite period on two shillings a day;
2. The fact that married men were not accepted except for certain special services;
3. The fact that there are so many openings for highly remunerative employment in England;
4. The widespread feeling in the country that there is no immediate danger of invasion;
5. The increase of rural employment due to the turf cutting campaign and to the increase in tillage;
6. The widespread belief that we have insufficient arms to equip a larger Army.
It may be said that (4) above has largely removed the patriotic urge to join the Army, which undoubtedly existed in June, 1940, and young men of adventurous spirit may thus be tempted to join the British Army in the hope they may see active service, while those who have financial commitments seek civilian employment in England at good wages. Men who were already married were debarred from joining, and it is therefore, evident that any recruiting campaigns under the circumstances which existed during the period under review were severally handicapped, and the response was bound to be poor' (Michael Kennedy and Victor Laing (eds.), The Irish Defence Forces 1940- 1949: The Chief of Staff’s Reports (Dublin, 2011), p105, published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission
Morale: The Irish Defence Forces : 1 April 1941 - 31 March 1942:
'The discontent which normally arises in peacetime is largely due to the monotony of garrison duties. The extensive field exercises carried out during last summer were a powerful factor at combating this evil and the organisation of the Divisions greatly assisted in putting the Army on an active service basis in so far as the soldiers lives and duties are concerned. The factors which still tend to lower the morale of the Defence Forces are largely outside Army control. The most important are considered to be:
(a) Lack of equipment;
(b) Inadequate allowances for dependants;
(c) Boredom due to waiting for something to happen coupled with the knowledge that a more adventurous service can be found abroad.
It is thought that the high rate of desertion was largely due to these causes' (Michael Kennedy and Victor Laing (eds.), The Irish Defence Forces 1940- 1949: The Chief of Staff’s Reports (Dublin, 2011), p156, published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.
Conclusion Extract : The Irish Defence Forces : 18 April 1945:
In relation to those who had initially volunteered to defend the state, the statement by the Chief of Staff on the 18 of April 1945 is informative. He said 'I think it is safe to say that every conceivable method of attracting recruits has been tried, yet the only period when men came forward freely was when the danger appeared most acute and when the likelihood of attack was most imminent' (Michael Kennedy and Victor Laing (eds.), The Irish Defence Forces 1940- 1949: The Chief of Staff’s Reports (Dublin, 2011), p411, published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission. Coincidentally in May 1940 the Irish Department of External Affairs destroyed many papers relating to Irish-German relations, fearing that Ireland would soon be invaded by Germany. Interestingly the rate of desertion from the Irish defence forces surged post the Battle of Britain in 1940 when the danger of a German invasion ceased to be viewed as imminent leading to the reasonable conclusion that volunteers who had a answered the initial appeal by the Irish government and enlisted in the Irish defence forces during world war two did so on the basis of a threat of an imminent Nazi invasion in order to defend the state which also includes Irish defence force personnel whose discharge through the normal channels was blocked for the duration of the Emergency and who later joined UK forces to fight the axis powers and who were dismissed en masse, unheard and in absentia for (alleged) desertion by the de Valera government pursuant to Emergency Powers Order 362.
Citizens of Eire - Postal orders to Southern Ireland from the UK - 1939-44:
On the 7 February 1945, the British Postmaster-General (Captain Cruickshank) indicated to the House Of Commons that a total of £22,830,000 was paid through postal and money orders to Eire during the years 1939–1944. The following indicates the sums sent back to Ireland in each of these years by Irish citizens working in the UK which also includes remittances from those who had joined British Forces during WW2:
During the Emergency, all postal/money orders from the UK would have been routed through the General Post Office in Dublin. Allowances and mail to families from Irish defence force alleged deserters who were serving in UK forces would also have been monitored by G.2 Branch-Irish Army Intelligence through the GPO and that information shared with British security services. It could be argued that remittances back to Ireland helped families to survive the rigours of the Emergency years and were a much needed boost to a stagnant Irish economy. With the termination of the war in Europe some of the activities with regard to Postal and Telegraph Censorship involving the security sections of G.2 Branch in the General Post Office were discontinued on the 12 May 1945. In December 1945 the unemployment figure in Ireland stood at over 70000 and was expected to rise rapidly with the return of war workers and demobbed soldiers from Britain. That did not occur, the reverse was the case, as hoards of Irish workers took the emigration route to the major industrial cities of England. The safety valve of emigration to the UK was arguably a stabilising factor in a post war Ireland marked by high unemployment, growing emigration and a continuous balance of payments deficits all of which led to widespread dissatisfaction. (Michael O'Sullivan, 'Sean Lemass A Biography', Pub 1994, P102, Blackwater Press, Dublin.)
Southern Irishmen in UK Forces - 3 September 1939 - August 1945:
The only figures which can be given in the case of the Royal Navy are based on information supplied to UK authorities as to the address at the time of entry into the Service with UK Forces. Those for the British Army and the Royal Air Force are based on information supplied as to place of birth, and in the case of the Army some of the men and women may have enlisted before the war. A great number of them would undoubtedly have given false names and addresses, particularly those who were deserters from the Irish Army, and others would give accommodation addresses, and they would appear to be recruited from Northern Ireland instead of from the South. It was thought that the only real test in order to ascertain as to who was who, would be the addresses which personnel gave when they first enlisted for their next of kin in case they fell or were disabled. Those would probably be quite genuine, because they would hardly give false addresses when they would want their own people to benefit. On this basis the number of men and women who joined His Majesty's Imperial Forces from Southern Ireland from 3 September 1939, to August, 1945, under the headings of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force which includes former defence force personnel are as follows:
As regards such enlistments before 1 January 1943, no distinction was drawn in the records between Northern Ireland and Eire. These statistics also do not include enlistments in Great Britain of men and women of Eire origin as to which no figures are available. (Michael Kennedy and Victor Laing (eds.), The Irish Defence Forces 1940- 1949: The Chief of Staff’s Reports (Dublin, 2011), pxxxiii, published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission, estimates that during the second world war approximately 150000 Irish citizens joined British forces, a statistic which is at odds with the figures in official UK records. On the 19 March 1946 Admiral of the Fleet William Henry Dudley Boyle, 12th Earl of Cork, 12th Earl of Orrery stated in the House of Lords "I am sure all your Lordships will agree that this country owes those men and women a great debt which must be honourably discharged, and I have not the least doubt that the Government intend to discharge it honourably, because their views on that point were given only last month in another place, where it was said that His Majesty's Government took the view that when men had fought with us and stood by us it was against our religion to let them down".
Pardons - Courts-Martial - Amnesty - Mutiny - Rehabilitation of Memory:
In September 2000 the New Zealand parliament passed into law the Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Act 2000 allowing for pardons for 5 New Zealand soldiers executed for alleged military offences during WW1. The NZ Act does not overturn the original verdicts but attempts, in a unique fashion, to redress the severity of punishment exacted and the disgrace felt by the soldiers and their families World War One Pardoned Soldiers Recognised - Rt Hon Helen Clark.
In November 2006 Irish World War One deserters
pardoned following the introduction of British legislation, and
but for the input of Anglo-Irish division department of foreign affairs and
Shot at Dawn Campaign Irl effort, the support from members of the
Oireachtas in Ireland, support from members of the House of Lords and House
Commons in the UK, the essential support of various military connections
here in Ireland and abroad, the constructive analysis in books and articles
written by journalists and authors world wide including the production of
various television documentaries, and importantly, both the British and
Irish government’s priorities were focused at the time on progressing the
Northern Ireland peace process to a successful conclusion, there would have
been no pardons granted in November 2006
for all 306 servicemen executed for military offences during world war one.
Prior to de Valera signing Emergency Powers Order 362 which dismissed defence force personnel en masse, unheard and in absentia for the (alleged) military offence of desertion, defence force courts-martial were regularly convened pursuant to the Defence Force (Temporary Provisions) Act 1923 and its Successor Defence Force Acts to hear cases relating to breaches of military law during the Emergency period. It is therefore worth noting the exemplary conduct of defence force military tribunal's as they judiciously dealth with the issue of desertion and absence with out leave from the Irish defence forces prior to the introduction of Emergency Powers Order 362 on the 8 August 1945: Private Patrick Shannon (aged 25 years) who fought with the British Army in the North Africa and Italian campaigns, and Private Patrick Bishop Kehoe (aged 22 years) aka Flight Sergeant Patrick Bishop Kehoe RAF, a former POW in Germany, were tried by court-martial convened in Collins Barracks, Dublin, in June 1945. Shannon and Kehoe were found guilty of the military offence of desertion and sentenced to 156 day's detention. After several days the sentence was commuted to discharge from the Irish defence forces and the men were released. (Note: A conviction for desertion by a legally convened court-martial is recorded against Private Kehoe and Private Shannon in Irish defence force records). Private Patrick Mortimer a paratrooper with the Parachute Regiment who was involved in the D-Day landings and in various battles across Germany, was tried on the 21 June 1945 by court-martial convened in Portobello Barracks, Dublin. Mortimer was found guilty of the military offence of desertion, sentenced to be discharged from the Irish defence forces and released from custody. Private Mortimer (aged 22 years) subsequently rejoined his British Army unit in the UK which was then on standby to be drafted to the Far East for the war against Japan. (Note: A conviction for desertion by a legally convened defence force court-martial is recorded against Private Mortimer in Irish defence force records). Trooper 'Paddy' Hember, from Wexford, was one of the North Irish Horse’s many characters. He had served with the Irish Army but went AWOL to join the British Army. On the 10 April 1943 during the battle for the Oued Zarga mountains in Tunisia, Trooper Hember was wounded so badly that his right arm was shot round the back of his neck and hung down over his left pocket; he was also wounded in the left leg. Luckily there was a lull in the proceedings when he reached the casualty station and, instead of amputation, the Doctor tried to save his arm with a complicated splint. Hember was sent back to the UK after various efforts to mend his arm had failed. Amputation was the final decision but there was considerable delay before this could be performed. When at last he was called to Roehampton he refused to go as he was beginning to regain some use in his arm which, eventually became full use. But his troubles were not over; returning to Dublin, he was court-martialled for desertion from the Irish Army. However, he argued successfully that he had only been absent with out leave over an extended period. This was accepted and his punishment was dismissal from the service.
The Irish Shot at Dawn - World War 1:
The Irish government report into the Irish Shot at Dawn submitted to the British government in October 2004 was very critical of the system of military justice conducted by the British Army during WW1 and stated inter-alia; “The courts-martial files indicate a trend among the accused of a lack of even a rudimentary understanding of their rights under military law. The absence of a “prisoner’s friend” in the majority of cases, to safeguard those rights, further undermines the assertion that those facing courts-martial were afforded their legally entitled rights”. The Irish government concluded “It is our belief that the above points, singly or cumulatively, represent sufficient grounds to merit the initiation of a process by the British Government through which retrospective pardons can be granted to the soldiers concerned”. In contrast Irish defence person personnel dismissed for the military offence of desertion on the 8 August 1945 pursuant to Emergency Powers Order 362 were never given the opportunity of a court-martial or a hearing before a military tribunal.....indeed they were deemed to be Not Worthy of Consideration by the de Valera government.
The Connaught Rangers Mutiny - 1920:
In 1922 the Cosgrave Government urged the British government to pardon the Connaught Ranger Mutineers but was only able to secure their release without a formal British pardon; see Connaught Rangers Amnesty 3 January 1923. Other evidence suggests that Irish born British soldiers who deserted and joined the IRA to fight against the British in Ireland during that period were also amnestied. Given the political dimension of that mutiny an Irish government would have been keen to remove the stain of the convictions by whatever means it considered to be within its powers. Consequently in 1936 the De Valera Government introduced the Connaught Rangers Pensions Act 1936 effectively exonerating those involved.
The Irish 'Army Mutiny' - 1924:
The Irish 'Army Mutiny' begun on the 6 March 1924 and led by two Irish Army officers, Major General Liam Tobin and Colonel Charles Dalton sent an ultimatum to the Cosgrave Government outlining their grievances which demanded the Free State Government meet with them to discuss their interpretation of the Treaty that the army council be removed and army demobilisation be suspended. They also stated that if the government did not meet their demands they would 'take such action that we make clear to the Irish people that we are not renegades or traitors to the ideals that induced them to accept the Treaty'; see copy Letter from Tobin & Dalton to Cosgrave - March 1924. During March 1924, 50 Free State army officers absconded with war materials including Lewis guns, grenades and revolvers from various depot ammunition stores. An estimated 100 soldiers were involved although Pathe News records 3000 Rebellious Troops in the mutiny. Having accepted the resignation of two ministers and several Dail representatives the government managed to end the mutiny with a compromise agreement which promised an enquiry into army administration, a review of army personnel, no victimisation and a guarantee that an army pension scheme would be devised, see also Irish Times Archives March 10th, 1924. As all officers and men of the Irish Army were persons subject to Irish military law pursuant to the provisions of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 then in force, the ultimatum on the 6 March 1924 by these Irish army officers and their followers was an effective challenge to the democratic foundations of the Free State and their frank expression of military discontent was mutiny as proscribed by military law which required adjudication according to military law. Tobin's leading supporters were arrested (19 March) at Devlin's public house, 68 Parnell St., Dublin and dismissed rather than court-martialled. He resigned his commission on 21 March. Interestingly no court-martial and no prosecution for mutiny was proffered against any of those involved. In December 1924 the Government stated " It has been found necessary to dismiss from the Army 25 non-commissioned officers and 16 men. Two Majors have been suspended and invited to show cause why their commissions should not be cancelled. The services of a small number of civil servants have also been terminated. For some months past efforts have been made by and on behalf of certain ex-officers who retired from the Army in connection with the Mutiny in March last to suborn from their allegiance members of the Army and other State Services with a view to renewing the attempt to subject the Government to pressure of an unconstitutional nature. In each case in which the action announced above has been decided on the Executive Council had reason to beleive that the person dismissed was in close and active association with such conspiracy". Years later former Major General Tobin and leader of the 1924 Mutiny joined De Valera's Anti-Treaty Fianna Fáil Party and served as Superintendent of the Oireachtas/Irish Dáil between 11 November 1940 until his retirement on the 31 December 1959. Following his death on the 30 April 1963 Tobin was accorded full Irish defence force military honours and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin.
Amnesty for IRA Men - 1932:
Members of the IRA benefited from an amnesty issued by Éamon de Valera on his accession to power in 1932, and after that date they could openly admit their part in assassinating O'Higgins without fear of being prosecuted.
The French Government in 1971 proclaimed a General Amnesty to surviving members of the Bretonische Waffenverbande der SS - Bezen Perrot who had been tried, convicted and sentenced to death in absentia by the Cours de Justice in Rennes 1944-45 for war crimes. In 1951, these powers were transferred to the Tribunal Permanent des Forces Armées in Paris which was charged thereafter with reviewing cases. Interestingly it was the Irish government post war who permitted the leaders of Bretonische Waffenverbande der SS - Bezen Perrot to stay in Ireland thus evading justice in France for their war crimes - De Valera helped Nazi War Criminal, in contrast, Irish defence force personnel dismissed in absentia unheard for the (alleged) offence of desertion who had fought with UK forces against the Nazi's received no amnesty or pardon from the de Valera government, Furore over Library's Gift From Nazi Collaborator.
The Austrian Government introduced legislation in 2009 to rehabilitate the memory of deserters of Austrian nationality who had deserted the German Army in 1944 some of whom then joined the British Army and fought against the Nazi regime - Austria's Wehrmacht Deserters.
The German Parliament passed a law in 2009 clearing the names of those Branded Traitors by the Nazis in World War Two - Germany To Pardon Last Troops Hitler Executed - New German Law Clears All Its WW2 Nazi "Traitors" - Germany Clears Nazi-Era 'Traitors' - Nazi Deserters Pardoned.
United States of America:
It has been the practice of American Presidents to periodically issue proclamations of pardon, commutation or amnesty to service personnel who had been in breach of military law. President Harry Truman issued four presidential proclamations granting blanket pardons to certain categories of military offenders post world war two. On December 24, 1945, he signed Proclamation 2676, granting pardons to World War II veterans who had been convicted of violating federal laws prior to their military service. On December 23, 1947, President Truman issued Proclamation 2762, pardoning 1,523 listed persons who had been convicted of violating the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. On December 24, 1952, he signed Proclamation 3000, granting pardons to Korean War veterans who had been convicted of violating federal laws prior to their military service. On that same day, President Truman signed Proclamation 3001, granting amnesty and pardon to servicemen who had been convicted of desertion from the armed forces between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Korean War. (On 31 December 1946 the United States declared a cessation of World War II hostilities although active hostilities had already been terminated on 14 August 1945. The state of war between the United States and Government of Germany declared by joint resolution of Congress approved on the 11 December 1941 was terminated on the 19 October 1951. The last of the states of war existing at that time between the United States and other countries was not formally and legally terminated until the 28 April 1952, and the United States was not involved in active hostilities from the 14 August 1945 until the 25 June 1950, the date of the Korean invasion. On September 8, 1951, President Truman proclaimed that the national emergencies declared to exist by the proclamations of September 8, 1939, and May 27, 1941, terminated this day upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Peace with Japan at San Francisco). On the 16 September 1974 President Gerald Ford announced a Clemency Programme for the return of Vietnam era draft evaders and military deserters. President Clinton granted pardons during his time in office. Note: A pardon of a Military offence will not change the status of a Military discharge, that may only be accomplished by the US Military authorities.
Cuban President Raul Castro has unveiled plans to pardon nearly 3,000 prisoners for "humanitarian reasons," a group amnesty of unprecedented size.
More than 100 people, judged to be criminals because they helped Jews escape
Nazi persecution during the Second World War, have had their names cleared
by a Swiss commission. Some were jailed or fined, and many lost jobs under
Swiss laws on neutrality. The commission was set up in 2004 after a new law
on “rehabilitation” took effect. The law allowed for posthumous recognition
of people unfairly criminalised because they smuggled Jewish refugees across
borders between 1938 and 1945. The commission, due to end in 2011, said its
aim was to repair the damage caused by a “grave injustice” of history.
Irish Examiner - 29 December 2011
Government Action on Desertion - Post World War Two - A Comparative View:
In the UK a moratorium was in place up to the 31 March 1947 to permit those who were alleged to be deserters to surrender themselves. Following a court-martial convened pursuant to British military law the following are some some examples of sentences awarded by the military court: Sentences of 21 months detention—suspended after four months had been served; Sentences of two years detention—suspended after six months; Sentences of one years detention—suspended after three months. It was rare indeed for anyone who surrendered to the offer of the British government to serve more than six months. With regard to those deserters who surrendered or were apprehended outside the terms of that offer after 31 March 1947, not only could they earn the one-third remission for good conduct, but their sentences were subject to review every six months and an account was taken of any factor overlooked before the courts-martial. Many of the cases were dealt with summarily by commanding officers within the limited power of punishments they possessed. "We shall endeavour to try the man who surrenders now with justice and humanity. As I was saying, if any case is brought to my notice or that of my Service colleagues where it is felt that justice has not been done, we shall do our utmost to review the matter. We cannot accept that the deserter should say once again, I am to be the judge. The compassionate circumstances in my case are such that I should receive no penalty. If he really feels that, and is anxious to come back, will he not submit his case to those authorities who have shown they are prepared to weigh his claims with justice? Mr. George Bernard Shaw has said in some context: "Anger is a bad counsel: cast out anger. Pity is sometimes a worse: cast out pity; But do not cast out mercy. Remember only that justice comes first. It is in that spirit that we approach this problem. Under Secretary of State for War Mr Michael Stewart". Queen Victoria marked the Jubilee year of her reign in 1887 by offering a free pardon to all deserters from the Army and Navy. The one condition was that they come forward between specified dates and make a declaration of their offence. On the 23rd February 1953 Her Majesty's Government as a special measure which was not be regarded as a precedent for the future, initiated the Deserters (Coronation Amnesty), and stated there would be no further prosecutions of members of the Armed Forces who deserted from the Services between 3rd September, 1939, and 15th August, 1945. However Men who wished to take advantage of this amnesty were required to report themselves in writing to a Service authority. They then received a protection certificate and transferred to the appropriate Reserve to which men were transferred on demobilisation post war. Men who claimed the benefit of the amnesty were not prosecuted for certain offences consequential upon desertion, such as subsequent fraudulent enlistment, or the possession of identity documents in a false name, but the amnesty did not cover other offences against the criminal law. Service personnel who were awaiting trial or serving sentences for desertion during the 1939–45 war were to be released from custody. See also: Pardon for WWII deserters - Manchester Guardian on 24 February 1953.
New Zealand - United States of America:
In New Zealand and the USA, the practice in relation to the prosecution of deserters was almost identical with that of the United Kingdom, e.g. trial by court-martial.
Pardons And Clemency By Country:
The American Experience - Bills of Attainder "Pains and Penalties":
The Bill of Attainder Clause in the American Constitution was intended to implement the separation of powers among the three branches of the Government by guarding against the legislative exercise of judicial power. An Act is pervaded with the key features of a bill of attainder where a law legislatively determines guilt and inflicts punishment upon an identifiable individual, class or group without provision of the protections of a judicial trial. A statutory enactment that imposes any of those sanctions on named or identifiable individuals would be immediately constitutionally suspect pursuant to US law. The American experience with bills of attainder resulted in the addition of another sanction to the list of impermissible legislative punishments, e.g. a legislative enactment barring designated individuals or groups from participation in specified employments or vocations which is a mode of punishment commonly employed against those legislatively branded as disloyal. See, e. g., Cummings v. Missouri, 71 U.S. 277, 4 Wall. 277 (1866) see also proscription against bills of attainder: United States v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437 (1965). It could be argued that Emergency Powers (No. 362) Order of 1945 falls within the meaning of a bill of attainder as the Order inter-alia determined the guilt and inflicted punishment on an identifiable class e.g. defence force personnel without the provision and protection of a judicial trial, e.g. a military court-martial.
The American Experience - Court-Martial Jurisdiction:
In 1987 the U.S. Supreme court held in Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435, that 'the jurisdiction of a court-martial depends solely on the accused's status as a member of the Armed Forces, and not on the "service connection" of the offense charged'.
The American Experience - Presidential Pardons:
Question as to whether a presidential pardon expunges judicial and executive branch records of a crime; see Memorandum of Opinion For The United State Pardon Attorney 11 August 2006. See also the Posthumous Pardon of Lieutenant Henry Ossian Flipper - Bending Toward Justice - Indiana Law Journal 1999.
The Canadian Experience - Pardon (Record Suspension):
Courts-Martial - Irish Defence Act 1954:
The constitutional basis for the establishment of Military Courts (known as Courts-Martial) for the trial of offences alleged to have been committed by persons subject to military law is Article 38.4.1 of the Constitution (Bunreacht na hEireann 1937), which provides: “Military tribunals may be established for the trial of offences against military law alleged to have been committed by persons while subject to military law …..” The Defence Act 1954 (as amended) provides the principle statutory basis for the Court-Martial system, which administers military justice in the Irish Defence Forces. The current military justice system for the Defence Forces came into effect on 1st September 2008 when the Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 came fully into force. Extract Courts-Martial Background - Website Irish Defence Forces.
Jurisdiction: Section 192—"(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a court-martial, whether general or limited, shall have jurisdiction to try and punish any person for an offence against military law committed by such person while subject to military law as an officer or a man".