An Overview of the Years 1931-1940

The decade of the 1930s was marked by depression worldwide, with unemployment and economic problems. As a result the decade witnessed the rise of Fascism and Communism. In 1933 the Nazis won power in Germany and Hitler became chancellor, in 1938 he annexed Austria. The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) was followed by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.

Ireland, too, had a depressed economy. The economic war with Britain from 1932 further depressed the Irish economy. The Irish government promoted a policy of protectionism and self-sufficiency, and attempts were made to start an industrialisation programme. Fianna Fáil first came to power in 1932 and remained in power until 1948. In 1937 a new constitution was formulated. Towards the end of the decade moves were made towards keeping Ireland neutral in upcoming war.

1932 (22-26 June) Eucharistic congress is held in Dublin.

1936 (27 May) Aer Lingus inaugural flight, from Baldonnell military airport, Dublin, to Bristol.

1938 (12 September) Eamonn De Valera elected President of the League of Nations.

1939 (1 September) Outbreak of the Second World War. On 19 February Eamonn De Valera declares the aim of his government to preserve neutrality. Dáil and Senate meet to enact two bills which postulate neutrality, and a state of emergency is declared (2-3 Sept).

1939 (5 August) Inaugural flight of trans-atlantic service from Foynes to US.


1936 Irish Independent, 28th May, p. 9 - Irish Independent

1936 Irish Independent, 28th May, p. 11 - Irish Independent

1939 Irish Times, 4th Sept - Irish Times

1939 Irish Press, 7th August - Irish Press

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