Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Labour Party TD for Dublin North Central
Tuesday, 12th June 2012
Labour Party T.D. for Dublin North Central, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has today welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter that legislation is to be brought forward which will pardon Irish defence force personnel who left these shores and fought for the allied effort during World War II.
"I welcome the move made today by the Minister and I commend him and his departmental officials for listening to the concerns of the families and friends of these soldiers who fought tyranny with the allied war effort.
"The treatment these forces received from the Irish State when they returned home after the war was unjust, with many being barred from employment by the State. The Minister's announcement today on the floor of the House recognises the enormous contribution these soldiers made to the allied war effort and apologises on behalf of the Government for their treatment in the aftermath of the war.
"Further, I wish to commend the remarkable work done by Mr. Peter Mulvany and the Irish Soldiers Pardon Campaign. Peter has worked tirelessly for the 4,983 defence force personnel branded as deserters and today's announcement by the Minister is a testament to the hard work and dedication of his organisation.
"I look forward to seeing the introduction of this legislation into the House later this year."