Yes, of course we all remember that Irish President Eamon De Valera signed a book of condolences at the sad news of the death of Herr Hitler, back in 1945.
Now comes the news that his sympathy towards Nazis did not end with Hitler’s suicide, as it is revealed that a Nazi war criminal was given asylum in Ireland after the second world war and lived under an assumed name approved by Eamon de Valera’s government, according to new research. The Nazi collaborator was advised by de Valera to continue using an alias so that if the French government asked if he was in Ireland, the taoiseach could truthfully answer no. Jesuitical duplicity?
Célestin Lainé was leader of the Bezen Perrot, a Waffen SS unit, and responsible for the torture and murder of civilians in occupied Brittany. He joined the SS when the Germans recruited local help and took command of the region, ordering the torture and execution of resistance fighters who had once lived alongside him.
In 1944, as the allies liberated Brittany, many Nazi collaborators fled France. Some of those captured were found in possession of letters of recommendation written in English and addressed to the Irish consulate in Paris.
In 1947 word reached Lainé that the Irish government was prepared to grant him asylum. In an interview with RTE to be broadcast this week, Dan Leach of the University of Melbourne reveals that the former head of the Breton Nationalist Party met de Valera to discuss Lainé. “De Valera advised him (that Lainé should) continue using his alias so that if the French asked him if Lainé was in the country he could truthfully answer ‘no’,” Leach said. Lainé kept a low profile in Ireland until his death in 1983.
Another Nazi to take advantage of the soft approach of the Irish government was Andrija Artukovic, who was responsible for the death of 1m people in Croatia. Cathal O’Shannon, who has researched Ireland’s treatment of the Nazis after 1945, has discovered that there is a file on Artukovic in the Department of Foreign Affairs but the government has refused to release
I wonder was it raw hatred of Britain that led to such obnoxious decisions being made by De Valera? Since many Irish people courageously fought AGAINST the Nazis, and made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of liberty and freedom, it must be so annoying for their relatives to read of this State sanctioned collaboration with the vermin of the 3rd Reich.