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Synopsis

The story of how neutral Ireland offered a lifeline to hundreds of survivors from the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War. From September 1939 until the last days of the war in 1945 Ireland was host to a constant flow of casualties from the Battle of the Atlantic. Ireland's unique location situated near the vital shipping lanes of the Western Approaches placed the country in the immediate conflict zone once the war at sea began with the sinking of the British merchant liner Athenia on 3 September 1939, when 449 survivors landed in Galway city. Neutral Shores follows the story of how many merchant navy ships during the war were attacked and sunk, and their surviving crews left adrift on the hostile Atlantic Ocean in a desperate struggle for survival. For the fortunate ones sanctuary was found along Ireland's rugged Atlantic shores, where the local people took these men from the sea into their homes and cared for them without any consideration of their nationality or allegiances to any of the belligerent nations. Mark McShane qualified as a Merchant Navy officer in 1994 and continues to serve at sea. He lives in Cork. 'Neutral Shores' is his first book.

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