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

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9780199565696: Spying on Ireland: British Intelligence and Irish Neutrality during the Second World War
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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 to damage 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 how much 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 a comparative 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 problems Britain 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 in Ireland, and on the significance of both espionage and cooperation between intelligence agencies for developing wider relations between the two countries.

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

Review:


"A groundbreaking study that deserves to be read by anyone with a serious interest in Britain's wartime intelligence community and the history of Anglo-Irish relations."--Times Literary Supplement


"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


"A masterful and thoroughly researched study of British intelligence during World War II."--The Historian


"O'Halpin addresses his topic with such careful detail that readers will finish the book with a very clear of Anglo-Irish wartime relations--perhaps the clearest that has been written thus far."--Robert Cole, History: Reviews of New Books


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9780199253296: Spying on Ireland: British Intelligence and Irish Neutrality during the Second World War

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ISBN 10:  0199253293 ISBN 13:  9780199253296
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008
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