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11 November 1999 Edition

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Back issue: Poppy Day

It is a tragedy of Irish history that thousands of our people died in the service of Britain during two world wars in this century.

In the first of these wars, the Irish people were emotionally manipulated by the type of jingoism we saw in Britain during the Falkland's/Malvinas War.

Besides this, thousands were conned by the false promises, made by Irish Parliamentary Party leader John Redmond, that their participation in the war would help achieve Irish freedom. Jingoism and deceit or economic necessity led to death and mutilation in the trenches for thousands of Irishmen. They won nothing for themselves or their country but simply served as cannon fodder for the British establishment.

An annual ceremony is organised by an organisation called the British Legion, which exists in Ireland as a body professedly pro-British, to commemorate the Irish dead of these two wars - so the British Legion, many Free State politicians and sections of the establishment media would have us believe. In reality, it is not a commemoration of these people as Irishmen but a reminder of their role as British soldiers serving British interests. Far from regretting the tragedy of Irish deaths in these and other British military adventures this century, the British Legion is celebrating an imperial past.

Neither the British themselves, nor their agents and supporters in this country, have any right to glorify the Irish deaths for which they bear responsibility.

An Phoblacht, Thursday 15 November 1984.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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