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Eamon De Valera's Struggle For A Sovereign Nation

2966 words - 12 pages

Eamon de Valera's Struggle for a Sovereign Nation

"Sinn-ne Fianna Fail", the first line of the Irish National Anthem loosely translates "soldiers are we/whose lives are pledged to Ireland" , served as Eamon de Valera's focus throughout his life. Born on October 14th, 1882 in New York City's New York Nursery and Child's Hospital to Catherine (Kate) Coll and Vivion Juan de Valera of 61 East 41st Street, Manhattan. Eamon's mother Kate emigrated from the small town of Knockmore, inside County Limerick, and his father was born in Spain. The couple married on September 19th, 1881 in Greenville's St. Patrick' Church. Two and half years after Eamon's birth, Vivion's death forced Kate to send her young son back to Ireland in the company of her brother Ned Coll. Kate's mother, Elizabeth Coll, raised Eamon in the same small community that had nurtured his mother. De Valera's preliminary education included eight years at the National School followed by two years at Christian Brothers School in Charlesville during which he earned a scholarship to finance his further education at Blackrock College in Dublin and University College, Blackrock. Upon completion of his education, de Valera began his career as a mathematics professor. In 1908, de Valera began to pursue proficiency in the Irish language by joining the Central Branch of the Gaelic League, an organization "trying to rebuild Irish nationalism through teaching its members about the native Gaelic language and its culture". Tim Pat Coogan summed up de Valera's decision stating "everything else of importance which followed flowed from that decision: his marriage, involvement in revolution and later, his political career. Eamon met his wife, Sinead Flanagan a schoolteacher four years his senior when she tutored him in Irish and they couple married in January 1910. In 1913 he joined the Irish Volunteers, a militant group fighting for Irish sovereignty and was instrumental in the landing of guns from the Asgard in July 1914, which demonstrated de Valera's extraordinary leadership ability to the Volunteers. Eamon de Valera's background prepared him for victory in his struggle for a united Ireland free of British rule as accomplished through the Easter Rebellion, the struggle over the 1921 Treaty and the Constitution of 1937.
"Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment . . . she strikes in full confidence of victory". The leaders of the Easter Rebellion wrote this declaration of independence when they seized control of Dublin during the Easter Rebellion of 1916. On the 24th of April, Easter Monday, Irish u rebels frustrated over the "suspension of the Irish Home Rule Bill in 1914"...

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