John Stout served with the Irish Guards armoured division which raced to Arnhem to capture a key bridge.
He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, ending the war as a commando.
On his return home to Cork, however, he was treated as a pariah. “What they did to us was wrong. I know that in my heart. They cold-shouldered you. They didn’t speak to you.
“They didn’t understand why we did what we did. A lot of Irish people wanted Germany to win the war – they were dead up against the British.”
The centuries of British misrule in Ireland was not merely neglectful, bigoted and quasi-genocidal. It left behind a dark ember of hatred in the Irish heart. A wronged people can gorge themselves on righteous fury to the point where they cannot see that the enemy of their enemy is the enemy of all mankind.
At some point, forgiveness is needed by all.