IRELAND: The Loan to Moscow

The shamrock and the sickle were once comrades on their uppers. In 1920, delegations from revolutionary Ireland and revolutionary Russia came to the U.S. to raise funds and beg recognition. Moscow's men had much less luck; they got so stony broke that Dublin's men lent them $20,000. For security, the Russians gave the Irish four pieces of jewelry (diamonds, rubies and sapphires), presumably from the Romanov crown collection.

Ireland never heard of this traffic with Beelzebub until 28 years had passed. Then, in the heat of an election, someone challenged Eamon De Valera: "Where are the Russian jewels?" Dev told...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!