Ireland’s brave souls must not be forgotten

With the advent of Remembrance Sunday, I would ask you to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the Irish community. No country per head of population contributed more to Britain during World War Two than the supposedly neutral Irish.

Winston Churchill was so impressed by the number of Irish volunteers he suggested that an RAF wing similar to that of the American Eagle squadrons be formed. From Ireland’s small population of two million, over 183,000 volunteers joined the British Army in 1940 and this led to the formation of the Irish Brigade, was later known as the 38th Division. One thousand Irish RAF pilots and crewmen lost their lives during the Battle of Britain.

Overall, some 400,000 Irish men and women joined the British forces receiving 780 awards for gallantry and 11 Victoria crosses. Yet, in London’s 2005, World War Two commemoration celebrations, although other communities were celebrated, the Irish were not mentioned!

When Islington’s Liberal Democratic councillors succeeded in closing Islington’s Irish Centre, they ran whooping gleefully around the council chamber slapping each other on the back. And London Mayor Boris Johnson was barely in power before he threatened to stop the Irish Community’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.

This year, please give generously to the Royal British Legion. Well done Waitrose at Angel who last year took the collectors inside out of the inclement weather and provided them with chairs and hot cups of tea.


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– Roisin Ni Corrain, Milner Square, N1 (Irishequality@waitrose.com).

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