Irish Secrets graphically tells the little-known history of German military espionage activity in Ireland – despite Ireland’s neutral stance – before and during the Second World War. It details illicit contacts between officers of the Abwehr (German military intelligence) and leaders of the Irish Republican Army with the intent of coordinating actions against British targets and the Irish state. Irish Secrets also examines the extent of pro-German support in Ireland, the fledgling Nazi party in Ireland, and the activities of Irish civilians and diplomats abroad who offered to serve Hitler’s Germany. It scrutinizes the personalities and mission profiles of the eleven German agents from both the Abwehr and the SD (the SS intelligence service), who operated with widely varying degrees of success on Irish soil, and unearths the stories of previously unknown German operatives and Irish supporters.
Many of the most compelling scenarios revolve around the use of recruited Irish nationals for espionage work, some details of which are still classified by the British and Irish governments. This book explores why German intelligence ultimately failed, and proposes that the German effort represented a genuine threat to the Irish state and the Allies alike, which seriously threatened the official position of Irish neutrality. It makes for a gripping account of the intelligence war and highlights the brilliant, creative success of Irish military intelligence in waging a counter-espionage campaign that effectively neutralized the German threat. Drawing from newly released intelligence files in several countries, in-depth interviews conducted with the participants, and on other previously unpublished primary sources, Mark Hull conclusively rewrites what is presently known about a fascinating aspect of the Second World War.