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Spying on IrelandBritish Intelligence and Irish Neutrality during the Second World War$
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Eunan O'Halpin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253296.001.0001

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Anomalous, Benighted Backwater: January 1944 to the Late 1940s

Anomalous, Benighted Backwater: January 1944 to the Late 1940s

(p.247) 6 Anomalous, Benighted Backwater: January 1944 to the Late 1940s
Spying on Ireland

Eunan O'Halpin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of British intelligence's focus on Irish security during the first five months of 1944. It then discusses the isolation of Ireland before Overlord, security cooperation after Overlord, diplomatic intelligence, Axis intelligence gathering, SIS and Ireland, and Ireland's impact on Britain's war. The five months leading up to Overlord were difficult and tense for British agencies dealing with Irish security. They were made more so by Churchill's petulant streak: despite advice from all quarters he insisted on supporting an ill-thought-out and ill-informed American démarche which would only increase the instability of Irish-Allied security relations and put existing cooperation, not only on Overlord security but on operational matters, in jeopardy. Once Overlord took place, Ireland virtually disappeared from London's intelligence agenda. It continued to have some significance for air and sea operations, but the danger of serious leakage of war information had gone, and with it the attention of ministers and senior officials.

Keywords:   Britain, Ireland, Overlord, intelligence, Second World War, Churchill, démarche

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