During the Second World War, Ireland remained neutral, but proclaimed a state of emergency. Despite its neutral status, some 100,000 Irish soldiers fought in the British forces on the side of the Allies.
According to census records, the Jewish population of Ireland was 3,749 in 1936. The Constitution of 1937 specifically gave constitutional protection to Jews. However, Ireland was not all that supportive towards receiving Jewish refugees immediately before and during the Second World War. After the war, some refugees, especially children, were permitted to enter the country. The population of Ireland was 2,934,000 in 1939. According to census records, the Jewish population of Ireland was 3,907 in 1946.
The National Archives in Ireland (Cartlann Naisiunta na hEireann) hold records for government departments and agencies and they are also responsible for Ireland’s regional archives. Important archival material can be found in covenants and Irish Jesuit Order repositories. An important Holocaust research and educational source in Ireland is the Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland. Further Holocaust-related material may also be stored in Jewish community archives.
EHRI has been able to identify and describe Holocaust-relevant material held by the National Archives on refugees of Jewish origin in Ireland and in Spain and the Evian Conference on Refugees. EHRI has also identified a collection, compiled by Stuart Rosenblatt, which stretches back to the 17th century and contains the names of some 53,000 Jewish people who have lived in Ireland. Copies of this 14 volume collection are stored in Dublin City Council’s Library and Archive.