Identity Statement for Friedhelm Krüll

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P337
  • Title: Papers of Friedhelm Krüll: Operation Shamrock
  • Dates: 1930s–2021
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 1 box
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Biographical History

Friedhelm Krüll was born Friedhelm Düllberg in Düsseldorf, Germany on 22 February 1940. His mother Anna had sixteen children in total, of which he was fourteenth. With home conditions immediately after the war being extremely poor and difficult, a place was offered for Friedhelm to take part in Operation Shamrock.

Operation Shamrock was a scheme to bring refugee children from Germany and other European countries to Ireland in the aftermath of the Second World, for a planned duration of three years’ stay. Administered in the main by the Irish Red Cross, children were brought to Ireland via St Kevin’s Hostel in Glencree, county Wicklow (now the location of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation), where they were cared for by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul and assessed for transmissible disease and malnutrition. The children selected were sometimes orphans, and in other cases were coming from homes where their parents were unable to care for them, for a variety of reasons. Between January 1946 and June 1947, over four hundred children arrived in Ireland by means of Operation Shamrock, almost all from Germany.

Friedhelm arrived in Ireland in September 1946, having travelled via Holyhead. After staying in Glencree, in January 1947 he went to stay with the Cotter family of Clarinbridge, county Galway. William (Billy) and Olive Cotter had three children of their own at the time: Michael, Sheila and Jacqueline. The family, including Friedhelm, later moved to Rathfarnham in Dublin.

When the initial three years came to an end, enquiries were made in Germany and it was felt that Anna Düllberg was still struggling to cope with her large family and impoverished circumstances. The Cotters wished to keep Friedhelm for a longer period, and he ultimately stayed with his Irish family for nine years.

Friedhelm worked in construction in his later life back in Germany. He and his wife Gisela have a son, Oliver, named after his foster mother Olive Cotter.

Archival History

The Friedhelm Krüll Papers were deposited by Friedhelm Krüll in 2021, facilitated by Jacqueline FitzGerald née Cotter.

Scope and Content

Correspondence relating to Friedhelm’s arrival in Ireland and subsequent life with the Cotters.

Short memoir written by Friedhelm Krüll about his life.

Several photographs.

Documentation relating to the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation and their reunions for Operation Shamrock host families and foster children.

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation digital format.
  • Language: German and English.
  • Finding Aid: Descriptive catalogue
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