Returning Home

Irish Ex-Servicemen after the Second World War

By Bernard Kelly

Returning Home investigates one of the least known periods in Irish history - the story of the estimated 12,000 Irish veterans who returned to Ireland after the end of the Second World War. They came back to a country where jobs were scarce, commemoration was a divisive issue, and the public had little understanding of the veteran's experiences. Even worse, an estimated 5,000 deserters from the Irish army faced potentially severe punishment when they returned home. Based on interviews with surviving veterans and drawing on a wide array of archival sources, Returning Home explores how Irish ex-servicemen coped with the difficult task of re-integration into Irish civilian society. The book details their impact on government policy, their economic difficulties, struggles with psychological problems, the vexed issue of Remembrance, and the treatment of deserters from the Irish forces. Returning Home makes an important contribution to how we view Ireland's connection to the Second World War. In June of 2012 Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter confirmed that 5,000 troops will be officially pardoned by the State for fighting with the Allies. Campaigners are hopeful that the Irish parliament will issue an apology to the men as well, many of whom were blacklisted and denied state jobs when they returned home.~*** "The range in this book is impressive, for it not only covers the immediate post-war experience of Irish servicemen, but also includes a review of Irish soldiers from 1793 to 1945, as well as thematic chapters on memory, finances and material culture....attention is paid to female experience also. The twin issues of remembrance and commemoration are dealt with in this book and indeed remain live issues..." - Irish Literary Supplement, Vol.34, No.1, Fall 2014~~

248 pages

Publication Date: 5/30/2012
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781908928047