Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Deserted, not deserters

Did any of you watch the Spotlight programme which aired on the BBC on Tuesday night? It centred around the 26 Irish born soldiers, who had volunteered to fight for the British, who were executed by the British military for desertion. Most were clearly victims of shellshock but at the time they were branded "cowards".

There is a campaign
underway to attain pardons for these men and it has attracted support from various strands of political opinion, from John Hume to Ian Paisley. Brian Cowen has pledged the Irish government's support.

I think that it's high time these men were pardoned. They were wrongfully branded cowards and this must be an awful burden to carry for the descendents of these men. They weren't cowards. They were victims - and they didn't deserve the fate that awaited them.

What is particularly interesting is the number of Irish soldiers executed. Dr Gerard Oram has researched the number of Irishmen executed and has concluded that "More Irish troops were being executed than any other in the British Army". You can read about his findings

What are your thoughts on the men who were executed for desertion? Do they deserve pardons?


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