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Foreign Airmen in Ireland

– During the Emergency 1939 - 1945. – 

There is much interest in one element of Ireland's neutrality in the Second World War. As a neutral state, Ireland was bound by the terms of the Hague Convention to intern combatants finding themselves on its shores. This included naval crew members and airmen. There was much less chance of combatant ground forces finding themselves in Ireland outside of planed military action! The close presence of Britain and the shared border meant that this was a problem top most in Eamonn DeValeras mind at the start of the war. Indeed, in the very hours of September 3rd 1939, two RAF flying boats were too be found landed off the Dublin city coast. The first internment occurred on August 20th, 1940, when a Focke Wulf Fw200 Condor patrol bomber of the Luftwaffe crashed on Mount Brandon, Co. Kerry. The six man crew were at first held in Collins barracks in Cork, before on August 31st, they were transferred to a newly built camp in the Curragh Military Camp, Kildare.

The Camp, No. 2 Internment Camp, better known as 'K Lines' was situated within the Curragh military camp. It was built not far from the No. 1 Internment Camp, or Tintown, where IRA members were interned for the duration of the war. both camps were under the command of Commandant James Guiney of the Irish Army, however, being preoccupied with the Tintown camp, K Lines was run day to day by Lt. James A Kelly. Kelly could speak fluent German but had no experience of running an internemnet camp but learned as he went along! The Guards at the Camps were members of the Armies Military Police Service.

These airmen came from the aircraft listed on the Foreign Aircraft Landings page.