Search Results for 'Éamon de Valera'
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Fr Seán Farragher, who died earlier this month, has been described as a ‘a giant of scholarship’ by the principal of Blackrock College, Dublin.
Eamon De Valera and Winston Churchill were never friends. Famously de Valera had brilliantly defended Ireland's neutrality during World War II following a verbal broadside from Churchill. One can imagine that matters between the two leaders were cool to freezing.
At a critical stage in the evolution of the State, we failed to use our education system to address the question of constitutional illiteracy when it might have developed the capacity of citizens to engage critically with their State. We opted for different versions of unthinking nationalism when we might at least have opted for thinking nationalisms.
In his interesting biography of Eamon de Valera*, Diarmaid Ferriter reports that in December 2000 gardaí seized 24 love letters from de Valera to his young wife Sinéad, which were being advertised for auction by Mealy’s of Castlecomer. It was believed that the letters were stolen in the mid 1970s from the de Valera family home. The owners, who had bought them in England some years previously in an effort to ensure their return to Ireland, were unaware that they had been stolen.
In 1966, the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, Eamon de Valera confidently put himself forward for re-election. Fine Gael decided to contest the election and put forward Tom O’Higgins. The idea of Fine Gael opposing ‘The Chief’ in the same year as the golden jubilee of the Easter Rising greatly irritated many within Fianna Fáil. Some members of the party blamed The Irish Times, which had insisted that the electorate be given a choice of candidates. In November 1965 it had declared that ‘the spirit of 1916 would be well borne out if next year were to see a Fine Gael President. For the other side of the old Sinn Féin house has still its part to play and that party is not lacking in men who could with dignity and vigour fill the office.’ It also welcomed O’Higgins’ candidacy by noting that the electoral contests were ‘the essence of a healthy democratic system’.
Eamon de Valera was in Galway on the evening of May 11 1940 engaged in a by-election campaign, when he was told that Germany had invaded Belgium and Holland that morning. He was outraged. Belgium felt that by declaring its neutrality it was protected from Hitler. But it was sadly mistaken. Germany felt threatened (at least it pretended to be), that the Allies may use Belgium as a ‘jumping off’ base to attack her. With terrifying speed and ruthlessness, using new tactics of fighter bombers and tanks, Germany subdued both countries in a matter of days.
RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta listeners are to be treated this coming Monday to a rare interview with Máirín de Valera, daughter of Éamon de Valera.
Irish neutrality will be protected and copperfastened by a Yes vote to Lisbon. Irish neutrality will be seriously undermined by a treaty bristling with military articles, so it is wiser to vote No.
DURING REFERENDA on European treaties - such as during the recet Lisbon Treaty campaign - you will meet the odd excitable type who’ll tell you that he’s voting No because some closet member of Youth Defence or the Communist Party of Ireland told him the treaty would end Irish neutrality.
If anyone thought that all a country need do to preserve its freedom when its neighbours are at war is to proclaim its neutrality, then they have only to look hard at what happened to several European countries at the beginning of World War II. Ladies and gentleman of the whinge brigade, neutrality isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.