restricted access Ireland, the Marshall Plan, and U.S. Cold War Concerns

The implementation of the Marshall Plan in Europe from 1947 to 1951 has been increasingly well documented as archival materials have become available. Although U.S. motivations and the extent of the U.S. contribution to rehabilitating and uniting Europe, thwarting Communism, and consolidating democracy are still debated by historians, there is little disagreement about the impressive size and logistics of the program. However, not all of the assistance delivered was in the form of food, finance, and technical advice. Ideological and psychological weapons were also used. This article examines all of these aspects of the Marshall Plan and how the campaigns actually worked in a country that has often been left out of analyses of the postwar reconstruction—Ireland. Because Ireland had been neutral during the war and wanted to remain neutral afterward, the question of participating in a U.S.-sponsored program that did not include the Communist European states (because the Soviet Union vetoed their participation) raised sensitive questions within Ireland about the desirability of being so conspicuously aligned with a Western bloc.