Why Irish soldiers who fought Hitler hide their medals





Five thousand Irish soldiers who swapped uniforms to fight for the British against Hitler went on to suffer years of persecution.

One of them, 92-year-old Phil Farrington, took part in the D-Day landings and helped liberate the German death camp at Bergen-Belsen - but he wears his medals in secret....

He was one of about 5,000 Irish soldiers who deserted their own neutral army to join the war against fascism and who were brutally punished on their return home as a result.

They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds....

"They didn't understand why we did what we did. A lot of Irish people wanted Germany to win the war - they were dead up against the British."

It was only 20 years since Ireland had won its independence after many years of rule from London, and the Irish list of grievances against Britain was long - as Gerald Morgan, long-time professor of history at Trinity College, Dublin, explains....



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