Samuel Beckett's passport

Sir, – Dr John Doherty (October 30th) informs us that Samuel Beckett never obtained an Irish passport. In fact Beckett held an Irish passport when France was occupied in 1940. As a citizen of a neutral state this enabled him to remain at liberty to take part in resistance activities before he took refuge in the south when the network in which he was involved was discovered by the Germans. During that time he kept in touch with the Irish Legation which as a consular service to a citizen, channelled funds to him from his family in Ireland.

Beckett continued to avail of his Irish passport. For example the National Archives website has published a facsimile copy of a passport application that Beckett made in 1957 prior to a trip to London for a performance at the Royal Court theatre. The webpage can be easily accessed on line.

Dr Doherty is correct of course to point out that James Joyce continued to use a British passport all of his life. – Yours, etc,


Blackrock, Co Dublin.