No. 122 NAI DFA 2006/39

Letter from Eamon de Valera to Neville Chamberlain (London)

Dublin, 5 February 1940

Prime Minister

I have received your decision with sorrow and dismay. The reprieve of these men would be regarded as an act of generosity which would be a thousand times more valuable to Britain than anything that could possibly be gained by their death. The latter will be looked upon as an act fitting only too sadly into the historic background of our relations. Almost superhuman patience is required on both sides to exorcise feelings which the knowledge of centuries of wrongdoing have engendered. I hasten with a final entreaty that these executions be not permitted to take place.

Eamon de Valera

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