Spying on Ireland: British Intelligence and Irish Neutrality during the Second World War

Paperback | February 15, 2010

byEunan OHalpin

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Irish neutrality during the Second World War presented Britain with significant challenges to its security. Exploring how British agencies identified and addressed these problems, this book reveals how Britain simultaneously planned sabotage in and spied on Ireland, and at times sought todamage the neutral state's reputation internationally through black propaganda operations. It analyses the extent of British knowledge of Axis and other diplomatic missions in Ireland, and shows the crucial role of diplomatic code-breaking in shaping British policy. The book also underlines just howmuch Ireland both interested and irritated Churchill throughout the war. Rather than viewing this as a uniquely Anglo-Irish experience, Eunan O'Halpin argues that British activities concerning Ireland should be placed in the wider context of intelligence and security problems that Britain faced in other neutral states, particularly Afghanistan and Persia. Taking acomparative approach, he illuminates how Britain dealt with challenges in these countries through a combination of diplomacy, covert gathering of intelligence, propaganda, and intimidation. The British perspective on issues in Ireland becomes far clearer when discussed in terms of similar problemsBritain faced with neutral states worldwide. Drawing heavily on British and American intelligence records, many disclosed here for the first time, Eunan O'Halpin presents the first country study of British intelligence to describe and analyse the impact of all the secret agencies during the war. He casts fresh light on British activities inIreland, and on the significance of both espionage and cooperation between intelligence agencies for developing wider relations between the two countries.

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Irish neutrality during the Second World War presented Britain with significant challenges to its security. Exploring how British agencies identified and addressed these problems, this book reveals how Britain simultaneously planned sabotage in and spied on Ireland, and at times sought todamage the neutral state's reputation internatio...

Eunan O'Halpin is the Bank of Ireland Chair of Contemporary History at Trinity College, Dublin.

other books by Eunan OHalpin

Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:February 15, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199565694

ISBN - 13:9780199565696

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of TablesAbbreviations and AcronymsBiographical Notes1. Britain's Irish security problem, 1922-19392. Phoney war, phoney spies: September 1939-April 19403. Invasion fears: May 1940-June 19414. From Barbarossa to Torch: July 1941-December 19425. Preparation for Overlord: January-December 19436. Anomalous, benighted, backwater: January 1944 to the late 1940sConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Spying on Ireland will be welcomed by specialists, who will appreciate its careful attention to the previously hidden details of espionage in the realm of weapons-related technology." --Mary Elise Sarotte, Central European History 10/06/2008