On 19 March 1941 the Sunday News published a map of “embattled Ireland.” They called it Ireland on the Spot.
… having only recently gained independence after more than seven centuries of struggle, [Ireland] is swept to the torture wrack again by the tide of events. She’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t aid England against Germany. As key to England’s back-door defence Ireland faces invasion in either event.Along with current events those centuries of struggle get in on this map too. Rather like my own Map of Watchful Architecture, the map-maker here includes a few ancient sites with the contemporary, battle sites such as Blackwater Town (1598) and Newtownbutler (1698).
Air raid warning for Belfast
Some attacks on southern sites
This feature is a minefield across the north of Donegal. Its entire length is off the coast of the supposedly neutral Ireland.
It is the landscape of the war with Germany that make-up the major elements of this map. The graphic of a Swastika-baring airplane warns us that Belfast is only two hours and ten minutes from Nazi bases in Norway. Almost a thousand people would soon die and many more would be injured an attack on Belfast. Outside London, this was the greatest loss of life in a night raid during the Second World War. However when this map was published that raid against Belfast was still one month away. What had occurred at this stage were attacks on the Free State, more than I had realised. The fiery “Bombed by Nazis” label is to be seen around Dublin and in the counties of Carlow, Kildare, Wexford and Meath. In the case of Meath they are to be found just south of a label marking the site of the Battle of the Boyne (1690).