Irish Soccer's Most Memorable Moments, No 38: Ireland versus Nazi Germany, 1939 7 years ago

Irish Soccer's Most Memorable Moments, No 38: Ireland versus Nazi Germany, 1939

Number 38 on our countdown and we take you back to Ireland’s last game pre- World War II.

This is probably more memorable than most things to anyone old enough to be around for it.

Ireland were playing a pretty decent German side prior to World War II, in fact it was just three months prior to the commencement of hostilities.

Many teams, like England in the above photo, had been forced to do the Nazi-salute as a sign of respect to a regime that was already oppressing certain groups and murdering certain footballers.

Ireland had played German in 1936 and the German side had given the gesture at Dalymount Park, just before the boys in green trounced them 5-2.

Ireland had been instructed as a goodwill gesture by Irish embassy officials to give the Nazi-salute to their hosts in Bremen in May 1939.

Jimmy Dunne one of the greatest pre-war players for Ireland was a republican and socialist with no love for fascism and had earned his political credentials by being interned in the Curragh during the Civil War at the ripe old age of 15.

As captain he told his players, including a young Jackie Carey who later went on to fight in World War II, not to give the salute with his “Remember Aughrim, Remember 1916” speech.

Ireland drew the match 1-all with Paddy Bradshaw scoring for Ireland in the 65th minute and cancelling out the Germans earlier goal.

Jimmy Dunne was treated to some particularly rough treatment from the Germans and had to go off after one nasty tackle.

The man who scored 13 goals in 15matches for Ireland wasn’t to be stopped by that though, he hobbled back on the field to help Ireland to an excellent draw in front of a partisan crowd.

If we can get Sly Stallone on board to play Dunne this might be the much needed follow up to Escape to Victory, then again, maybe not…

Today marks 38 days to go until the start of Euro 2012, so stick with us every day as we present another memorable Irish soccer moment.