Shot at Dawn campaign
Minister Dermot Ahern Welcomes Pardons for Irish Soldiers 'Shot At Dawn'
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., has welcomed the enactment of legislation today in Britain pardoning all soldiers executed for military offences during the First World War, including 26 Irish volunteers.
Speaking from London this morning, where he is meeting Irish emigrant groups, the Minister said “The Government gave its support to the Irish Shot at Dawn Campaign in the hope that a retrospective pardon would recover the memory of these young volunteers from dishonour and bring comfort to their families. Our support was also given in recognition of the wider experience and sacrifice of the people of Ireland during the First World War”.
“We raised the issue formally with the British Government through a comprehensive report on this issue in 2004 and we have engaged actively with them since then on finding a resolution.
“The legislation enacted by the British Government today recognises that execution was not a fate these young men deserved. This pardon will be formally recorded in their military files. I understand that their names are also to be added to the Irish National War Memorial Records.
“I would also like to take the opportunity today to congratulate Peter Mulvany, the head of the Irish Shot at Dawn Campaign, for his tireless efforts in ensuring that these men were not forgotten.”
Note for Editors:
The Government's report - “'Shot at Dawn': The Report into the Courts-Martial and Execution of Twenty Six Irish Soldiers by the British Army during World War I” - was released in March 2006.
The full text is available at www.dfa.ie/angloirish/ShotatDawnReport.pdf
8 November 2006