Oct. 18, 2020

Eamon de Valera and the Irish Economy

Eamon de Valera and the Irish Economy
Éamon de Valera (1882 - 1975)

In Episode 6 of the podcast, Eamon de Valera features prominently. That's not surprising given his dominance of the irish political landcape during the 1932 - 59 which is the focus of this episode

In all, Eamon de Valera dominated Irish political life for more than 50 years. Unlike his fellow commanding officers of the 1916 rising, he had survived the rebellion by virtue of his US citizenship. He proved to be an adept politician, capitalizing on his standing as the most senior surving officer of the The Rising. His ability to maintain a hold on Irish polity is astonishing given the grim economic environment through which he maintained power.

In 1937, de Valera drafted the 2nd Irish constitution which severed most of the remaining ties between Britain and Ireland. It was actions such as these that maintained the ideological cohesion and support of the Irish people during that 1932 - 1959 period. He held the office of Taoiseach(Prime Minister) for over 20 years winning and astonishing 8 general elections in total.

In this interview from 1955, towards the end of his active years in governance, its surprising how little of the discussion is focused on the dire straits of the Irish economy. In truth this piece could be classified more a piece of hagiography rather than an attempt to reveal truths about de Valera, his governance and the true state of Ireland. It is however a fascinating piece