Éamon de Valera

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Eamon de Valera (18821975)

Irish politician, born Edward George de Valera, Irish name Éamonn de Bhailéara.


Reported in Judging Dev

Reported in Diarmaid Ferriter, Judging Dev: A Reassessment of the Life and Legacy of Eamon De Valera ISBN: 1904890288

  • No matter what the future may hold for the Irish nation, the seven years -- 1916 to 1923 -- must ever remain a period of absorbing interest. Not for over two hundred years has there been such a period of intense and sustained effort to regain the national sovereignty and independence. Over the greater part of the period it was the effort of, one might say, the entire nation. An overwhelming majority of the people of this island combined voluntarily during those years in pursuit of a common purpose.
  • Revolution

Nature never intended me to be a partisan leader ...
Every instinct of mine would indicate that I was meant to be a dyed-in-the-wool Tory, or even a bishop, rather than the leader of a revolution

  • Rugby

de Valera said in a 1957 speech:
For Irishmen, there is no football game to match rugby and if all our young men played rugby not only would we beat England and Wales but France and the whole lot of them put together.

  • Constitution

de Valera is quoted from a conversation he had with a former British Ambassador Sir Arthur Gilchrist and the late Foreign Affairs Minister Frank Aiken.
Of course I wrote most of the Constitution myself. I remember hesitating for a long time over the US presidential system. But it wouldn't have done -- we were too trained in English democracy to sit down under a dictatorship which is what the American system really is,
Ministers not responsible to parliament -- that would never do. Besides, I wanted to prepare a nice quiet job without too much work for my old age. Still, I admit, I was tempted. Look at the way de Gaulle rules France ... absolute rule ... very efficient.

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