Éamon de Valera

Irish statesman (1882–1975) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Éamon de Valera[lower-alpha 1][lower-alpha 2] (/ˈmən ˌdɛvəˈlɛərə, -ˈlɪər-/, Irish: [ˈeːmˠən̪ˠ dʲɛ ˈwalʲəɾʲə]; first registered as George de Valero; changed some time before 1901 to Edward de Valera;[2] 14 October 1882 – 29 August 1975) was a prominent Irish statesman and political leader. He served several terms as head of government and head of state and had a leading role in introducing the 1937 Constitution of Ireland.[3][4]

Quick facts: Éamon de Valera, 3rd President of Ireland, Ta...
Éamon de Valera
de Valera, photographed c.1922–1930
3rd President of Ireland
In office
25 June 1959  24 June 1973
Taoiseach
Preceded bySeán T. O'Kelly
Succeeded byErskine H. Childers
2nd Taoiseach
In office
20 March 1957  23 June 1959
PresidentSeán T. O'Kelly
TánaisteSeán Lemass
Preceded byJohn A. Costello
Succeeded bySeán Lemass
In office
13 June 1951  2 June 1954
PresidentSeán T. O'Kelly
TánaisteSeán Lemass
Preceded byJohn A. Costello
Succeeded byJohn A. Costello
In office
29 December 1937  18 February 1948
President
Tánaiste
  • Seán T. O'Kelly
  • Seán Lemass
Preceded byHimself as president of the Executive Council
Succeeded byJohn A. Costello
President of the Executive Council
In office
9 March 1932  29 December 1937
Vice PresidentSeán T. O'Kelly
Preceded byW. T. Cosgrave
Succeeded byHimself as Taoiseach
Leader of the Opposition
In office
2 June 1954  20 March 1957
PresidentSeán T. O'Kelly
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded byJohn A. Costello
Succeeded byJohn A. Costello
In office
18 February 1948  13 June 1951
PresidentSeán T. O'Kelly
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded byRichard Mulcahy
Succeeded byJohn A. Costello
In office
11 August 1927  9 March 1932
PresidentW. T. Cosgrave
Preceded byThomas Johnson
Succeeded byW. T. Cosgrave
Leader of Fianna Fáil
In office
23 March 1926  23 June 1959
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded bySeán Lemass
President of the Irish Republic
In office
26 August 1921  9 January 1922
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byArthur Griffith
President of Dáil Éireann
In office
1 April 1919  26 August 1921
Preceded byCathal Brugha
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Teachta Dála
In office
August 1922  June 1959
ConstituencyClare
In office
December 1918  June 1922
ConstituencyClare East
Member of the Northern Ireland Parliament
for South Down
In office
30 November 1933  9 February 1938
Preceded byJohn Henry Collins
Succeeded byJames Brown
Member of the Northern Ireland Parliament
for Down
In office
24 May 1921  22 May 1929
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of Parliament
for East Clare
In office
10 July 1917  15 November 1922
Preceded byWillie Redmond
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born
George de Valero

(1882-10-14)14 October 1882
New York City, US
Died29 August 1975(1975-08-29) (aged 92)
Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland
Resting placeGlasnevin Cemetery, Dublin
Nationality
Political partyFianna Fáil
Other political
affiliations
Spouse
(m. 1910; died 1975)
Children7, including Vivion, Máirín, Éamon and Rúaidhrí
Parents
Relatives
Education
Alma mater
Profession
  • Teacher
  • politician
Signature
Close

Prior to de Valera's political career, he was a commandant of Irish Volunteers at Boland's Mill during the 1916 Easter Rising. He was arrested and sentenced to death but released for a variety of reasons, including the public response to the British execution of Rising leaders. He returned to Ireland after being jailed in England and became one of the leading political figures of the War of Independence. After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, de Valera served as the political leader of Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin until 1926, when he, along with many supporters, left the party to set up Fianna Fáil, a new political party which abandoned the policy of abstentionism from Dáil Éireann.

From there, de Valera went on to be at the forefront of Irish politics until the turn of the 1960s. He took over as president of the Executive Council from W. T. Cosgrave and later became Taoiseach, with the adoption of the Constitution of Ireland in 1937. He served as Taoiseach on three different occasions: from 1937 to 1948, from 1951 to 1954, and finally from 1957 to 1959. He remains the longest serving Taoiseach by total days served in the post. He resigned in 1959 upon his election as president of Ireland. By then, he had been Leader of Fianna Fáil for 33 years and he, along with older founding members, began to take a less prominent role relative to newer ministers such as Jack Lynch, Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney. De Valera served as President of Ireland from 1959 to 1973, two full terms in office.

De Valera's political beliefs evolved from militant Irish republicanism to strong social, cultural and fiscal conservatism.[5] He has been characterised as having a stern and unbending, and also devious demeanour. His roles in the Civil War have also been interpreted as making him a divisive figure in Irish history. Biographer Tim Pat Coogan sees his time in power as being characterised by economic and cultural stagnation, while Diarmaid Ferriter argues that the stereotype of de Valera as an austere, cold, and even backward figure was largely manufactured in the 1960s and is misguided.[5]