Pardoned Irish soldier who fought against Nazis attends memorial in Dublin
Blacklisted for decades for going AWOL to fight the Nazis
This week 92-year-old Phillip Farrington, one of the last surviving Irish soldiers who was granted a pardon after fighting against Nazi Germany, laid a wreath at the Irish National War Memorial to remember his comrades.
According to the Belfast Telegraph Farrington joined a small group of relatives and supporters at the war memorial in Dublin to remember the Irish men who joined with Allied forces, only to be blacklisted for their decision.
The Irish government announced a pardon for them in May.
This week Peter Mulvany, co-ordinator of the Irish Soldiers' Pardons Campaign, told the Telegraph their fight to clear the names of thousands of soldiers has ended.
'The event has to be held to mark the passing and signing of the amnesty into Irish law. It is an unprecedented piece of legislation which clears all concerned,' he said.
'We wanted to hold it sometime around June, sometime around when the campaign for an amnesty started in earnest in 2011, on June 6. That's also the date that one of the Irish lads who left to fight with the Allies died in the D-Day landings, Private Joseph Mullaly.'
Three poppy wreaths with Tricolours attached were reportedly laid at the memorial. One of them was laid by Farrington, originally from Seville Place in Dublin's north inner city, who was 19 when he enlisted in the British army. He served in France and Germany and helped to liberate Bergen-Belsen.
Two wreaths will be also taken to Britain and laid at war memorials during Remembrance services there in November to mark the Irish men and women who were forced to emigrate after returning from the war.
In May Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter announced a pardon for the thousands of soldiers who fought against Nazi Germany and he apologized for their treatment. The men who abandoned their posts in the Irish army to sign up with the Allies were reportedly dismissed en masse from the Irish Army, blacklisted and branded deserters at home and then denied public sector jobs and welfare.
About 5,000 Irish soldiers who fought with the Allies had been found guilty by a military tribunal at the time of going AWOL.
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