It was a real surprise dear friends from Ireland, to realise that the connection of Dublin and Thessaloniki is older than we have ever thought. Our connection begins at the 1rst World War. How we know it?
Irish Folk Song of World War I. The Greek port of Salonika (Thessaloniki) came to prominence in 1915 when it was used to mount and supply the Gallipoli expeditionary force. The song probably originated in Cork, Ireland, but became known in the British Army (many of whose members were in any case Irish, especially during the First World War). The verse mentioning Sinn Fein was no doubt a later addition. Salonika, in common with other World War I landmarks, would have been well-known in the poorer parts of Cork City at the time, as many of the men were forced for economic reasons to enlist. This is an anti-recruiting song and the terms 'soldiers' and 'slackers' are used for those who enlisted and those who stayed at home. While the soldiers were away their wives received what was known as separation pay. These women were known as 'Separas' and were very much despised by the other women. Most of the verses of this song were collected from Mrs. Ronayne, grandmother of Mick Murphy of Stoker's Lodge. (Notes Jimmy Crowley, 'The Boys of Fair Hill').