MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Irish Shipping Limited 1939-45 and its Influence on Irish Neutrality

    McDonagh, Sean (2000) Irish Shipping Limited 1939-45 and its Influence on Irish Neutrality. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

    Download (1MB) | Preview

    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...

    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    The outbreak o f the second world war in Europe was an event which had been foreseen by many in Ireland, including the taoiseach Eamon de Valera, but had still been largely unprepared for. The country, which had been independent for less than twenty years, followed the only course o f action available to her given this lack o f preparedness and the political circumstances o f the time, neutrality. This policy was adopted for two reasons, firstly as the Irish defence forces were ill equipped to partake in a modern war with no airforce or anti-aircraft guns with which to defend the country, and secondly it was affirmation to a global audience o f Irelands sovereignty and the fact that Britain no longer dictated her foreign policy. This policy o f neutrality was fraught with risk and pitfalls for the Fianna Fail government though. Foremost among their problems was the issue o f importing essential supplies to the country during the period o f the emergency. Prior to the war Ireland had relied on foreign ships to carry a large percentage o f her raw materials. However, with the outbreak o f war, these ships were no longer in a position to serve Ireland. This problem was compounded by the fact that British resentment at Irish neutrality resulted in her refusing to ship supplies to Ireland or recognise Irish economic difficulties. In response to this desperate situation Irish Shipping Ltd was formed in March 1941. Irish Shipping was vital to the maintenance o f Irish neutrality, as without the vital imports the company carried, Ireland would have faced economic ruin. This fact was recognised by many o f the belligerent powers though and consequently Irish Shipping was used as a means by which to put pressure on the Irish government, in some instances in an effort to move the government from its neutral stance. The aim o f this thesis is therefore to examine the role Irish Shipping played in Irish neutrality and to examine the extent to which it was used by belligerent powers to pressurise the Irish policy o f neutrality.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Irish Shipping Limited; 1939-45; Irish Neutrality;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History
    Item ID: 5073
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2014 14:26
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

      Repository Staff Only(login required)

      View Item Item control page


      Downloads per month over past year

      Origin of downloads