Eamon De Valera

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President Michael D Higgins at the James Joyce grave in Fluntern cemetery, Zurich. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Half a century ago, when Fritz Senn organised a James Joyce symposium in Ireland, not all locals were impressed. This newspaper’s Quidnunc column sum(...)

Members of the old IRA fire volleys at the funeral, in September 1938, of Edward Keegan, an Irish Volunteer who was dismissed from the advertising department of ‘The Irish Times’ for going to fight in the Easter Rising. The paper has bought his 1916 medal to put on permanent display in the foyer. Photograph courtesy of his granddaughter Joan Pinhorn

The IRA, which carried out a series of bombing attacks in England before the opening of the second World War, had been infiltrated by “ultra-conservat(...)

John F Kennedy in the Dáil during his visit to Ireland 1963: a joke he made fell flat with president Éamon De Valera.

President John F Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in June 1963 just months before his assassination offered Sean Lemass the opportunity to put forward an im(...)

Seán Lemass addresses an election rally in Dublin in 1943. Photograph: Haywood Magee/Getty Images

A victorious Fianna Fáil party in 1932 feared they would be subject to an army coup led by a man allegedly responsible for some of the worst atrocitie(...)

Taoiseach Seán Lemass setting off a charge in a pit face to mark the opening of Tynagh Mines, Co Galway, in November 1963. With him were David Fitzgerald (centre), mine superintendent, and PJ Hughes, chairman, Irish Base Metals Ltd. Photograph: Kevin McMahon

The 1950s was the darkest decade, marked by emigration of nearly 50,000 people a year. One of the great what-ifs of Irish history is what would have h(...)

Seán Lemass: The Lemass tapes will substantially re-shape our knowledge and understanding of Lemass himself, of Fianna Fáil in and out of government, and political history in the four decades after 1932.

Old tapes can throw new light on history. Seán Lemass was a politician who never wrote an autobiography, but he left behind an extraordinary series of(...)

From left: Taoiseach Seán Lemass, minister for industry and commerce Jack Lynch, and TK Whitaker, secretary of the Department of Finance, at Dublin Airport on their way to London for a meeting with British prime minister Harold Wilson  in November 1964 on the imposition of the British import surcharge on Irish goods. Photograph: Jimmy McCormack

Seán Lemass, who became taoiseach on June 23rd, 1959, at the age of 59, after Éamon de Valera was elected president of Ireland, never wanted the job, (...)

From left: Dr Thomas Morris, archbishop of Cashel, president Éamon de Valera, Cardinal John D’Alton and taoiseach Seán Lemass at Dr Morris’s consecration at Thurles Cathedral in February 1960. Photograph: Gordon Standing

Seán Lemass may have lived during a time when the Catholic Church was dominant in Irish society, but, nevertheless, he always believed there was a str(...)

Seán Lemass and Éamon de Valera at a memorial mass for Michael Collins in Dublin Castle in June 1969. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

The relationship between Éamon de Valera and Seán Lemass is arguably the most important relationship between two Irish politicians in the history of t(...)

Brexit is fuelled by an English nationalism as crude and self-deluded as Irish nationalism used to be

It was easy to forget that this week saw the 20th anniversary of another momentous Irish referendum. Oddly enough, it is all the easier to forget beca(...)

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