Why De Valera got a bum rap on being pro-Nazi because of U.S Ambassador
U.S, Envoy to Ireland David Gray communed with ghosts, hated De Valera
The Irish supplied Marlin with voluminous reports on IRA strength, radio interceptions, airplane and submarine sightings, the names and addresses of people in America to whom German nationals living in Ireland — or pro-German Irish people — were writing, and files on German spies already captured. The information was so detailed that the “Éire Desk” at OSS headquarters in Washington found it necessary to prepare over 4,000 index cards on the individuals mentioned in the reports.
The OSS had already sent another undercover agent to Ireland — Rowland Blenner-Hassett. He was able to dismiss stories of Nazi intrigue, so he felt he was wasting his time in Ireland, especially after the offer to cooperate with Marlin. “So long as the American Government secures all the information its desires about the activities of the IRA in Ireland, it is a matter of indifference how, or by whom, this object is achieved,” Blenner-Hassett argued. Gray wanted him out, too, so he was recalled.
Marlin’s cover as an adviser at the American legation was no longer needed.
“I was relieved of my assignment under Gray,” Marlin told me. “He wanted me out also so we were at last in perfect agreement on one point.”
From April 30, l943 onwards Marlin worked out of London and returned to Dublin only periodically. Between visits, the Irish forwarded material to him in London in the Irish diplomatic pouch.
A third undercover OSS agent, Martin S. Quigley, arrived in Ireland in May and quickly realized Irish authorities were favorably disposed towards the Allies. As a result he was baffled by Gray’s attitude. “He never knew what was really going on, or if he did, he refused to accept the truth,” Quigley concluded.
That summer while Gray was in the United States for consultations, Marlin suggested that the Irish would likely provide the OSS with information from their diplomats in Germany, Italy and France. Carter Nicholas, the head of the Éire Desk at OSS Headquarters in Washington, visited Dublin with Marlin in September 1943 and asked Joe Walshe for such help.
After clearing the matter with the Taoiseach, Walshe read Nicholas and Marlin extracts from messages describing conditions in Germany, Italy, and France. He also agreed to send Marlin future reports of interest.
In the following weeks Marlin supplied questions for Walshe to ask the Irish representatives in Berlin, Rome and Vichy. Walshe then forwarded their replies to Marlin. In effect, Irish diplomats were being used as American spies.
While in the United States Gray met personally with President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He tried to persuade them to invite de Valera to join the Allies. He assured them the Taoiseach would refuse, but London and Washington were not taking any chance of Ireland coming in the war. They also rejected Gray’s suggestion that they ask for Irish bases, as the service chiefs were convinced those would only be a liability.
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