Page 8, 5th September 1986

5th September 1986
Page 8
Page 8, 5th September 1986 — Ireland's aid in time of need

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Locations: New York


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Ireland's aid in time of need

ELSEWHERE in this issue Martin Quigley, America's secret agent in Ireland during World War II, has something to say about Ireland's benevolent neutrality-towards the allies.

The most curious case was that of General Jacob Devers, Commander of the United States forces in Europe, whose aircraft crashed near Athy, in County Kildare, on his way to the D-day plannings in Britain.

He was hastily spirited away over the "border". A hundred and five RAF and 39 American aircraft crashed in Ireland during the "emergency", and the Irish Army Air Corps helped to get about 600 flyers and their repaired planes back into circulation.

A curious fact was that the British Secret Service operated at the Foynes flying boat base in County Limerick on the Shannon throughout the war, While De Valera was on friendly terms with the British Ambassador, Sir John Maffey, he loathed the American Minister to Ireland, David Gray, who was in that post by virtue of the fact that he was married to an aunt of Eleanor Roosevelt.

A former newspaperman, a bore and a bully, he was frequently guided in his diplomatic reports to President Roosevelt by the advice of spirits at seances he held in the American Embassy in Dublin for that purpose.

Gray always operated on the basis that Ireland's neutrality was for sale, and completely misread the signals.

America, of course, did not come into the war until she was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbour.

The American military attaché to Australia of that time, a major, whose apartment I rented in New York for a year or so, after the war years, assured me that his military mission repeatedly advised his country of the pending attack, and of the actual approach of the enormous Japanese task force.

The signals he maintained, were deliberately ignored by the Roosevelt administration in order to shock the American people into war against the Axis powers.

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