MLA Welcomes Mooted Pardon For Irish Soldiers

An Ulster Unionist MLA has welcomed comments by Ireland's Justice Minister concerning a willingness to consider the issuing of pardons and apologies to the veterans and families of men who left the Irish Army to enlist in the British.

On Tuesday, Alan Shatter said the Irish Government would consider issuing pardons and apologies to those that defected to engage in the fight against fascism in World War II.

Responding to the comments on Wednesday, the East Belfast MLA Michael Copeland said: “I was extremely heartened to learn that the Republic of Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said he regards the dishonourable discharge of soldiers who left to fight for the Allies as untenable.

“It is untenable that we commemorate those who died whilst continuing to ignore the manner in which our State treated the living, in the period immediately after World War II, who returned to our State having fought for freedom and democracy.”

Mr Copeland said Mr Shatter "clearly shared" the concerns of the Stormont Assembly and he welcomed the TD's acknowledgement that “in the context of the Holocaust, Irish neutrality was a principle of moral bankruptcy”.


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