Éamon de Valera

Article

October 18, 2021

Éamon de Valera (born George de Valero, sometimes in Irish Éamonn de Bhailéara; 14 October 1882, New York, USA - 29 August 1975 Dublin, Ireland) was an Irish statesman and a long-time figure in his country's politics. He served as Head of the Irish Government from 1919 to 1922, as Prime Minister from 1932 to 1948, from 1951 to 1954 and from 1957 to 1959, at the same time as Foreign Minister from 1932 to 1948 and President from 1959 to 1973. De Valera played a major role in the independence and full sovereignty of Ireland and in the enactment of the current constitution in 1937. He founded the Fianna Fáil party and served as its first chairman from 1926-1959. He was known by the nickname “Dev”. Stages of life

Youth

De Valera's mother was Catherine Coll of Ireland, who had immigrated to the United States, while her father was Juan Vivion DeValera, a native of the Spanish Basque Country. He was born in Manhattan, New York. His father died when he was two years old, when he was sent to his uncle's farm in the village of Bruree in County Limerick, Ireland, where he was raised by his grandmother. The mother, who remained in America, later remarried. De Valera began his schooling in Limerick and, at the age of 16, received a modest scholarship to Blackrock College, Dublin Catholic. He studied mathematics at the Royal University of Dublin and graduated in 1904. He worked as a mathematics teacher at Rockwell College from 1903 to 1904 and then at Belvedere College. In 1908, De Valera joined the Conradh na Gaeilge Society, which had been pushing for the revival of the Irish language, and in 1913 the Irish Volunteer Forces, which were to defend the planned Self-Government Act. Thomas MacDonagh also invited him to the Republican Brotherhood of Ireland (IRB), a secret combat organization of the Republican separatists. De Valera changed his first name from Edward to Irish-speaking Éamon.

The Irish War of Independence and the Civil War

De Valera took part in the failed 1916 Easter uprising aimed at liberating Ireland from British rule. He commanded the battalion-strong rebel division that occupied the Boland mill in Dublin and surrendered last as the commander of the Easter Rebellion. De Valera was sentenced to death by martial law, but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by amnesty. Probably the main reason for saving his life was that he was still an official US citizen at the time, but it was also a reaction to the change in mood caused by the executions. He was considered the most significant survivor of the Easter uprising and quickly rose to become one of the leaders of the separatist movement. He was released by general amnesty in June 1917 and was already elected in July as a representative of the Sinn Féin party in the by-elections to the British Parliament from the East Clare constituency, although in line with the party's line he did not take his seat. In October 1917, he was elected chairman of Sinn Féin. John French, the deputy king who feared a new uprising in Ireland, was re-arrested along with the rest of the party leadership in May 1918 and taken to England as a prisoner. Representatives of the party did not take their seats but in January 1919 established Dublin's own parliament, Dáil Éireann, in Dublin, which declared the country independent. With the help of his comrades, De Valera escaped from Lincoln Prison in February 1919, and on his return to Ireland he was elected “President of the Dáil Éireann” (Irish: Príomh Aire), or head of the Irish Republican Government, in April. The government had to wage a guerrilla war against the British authorities, so de Valera

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