Thursday June 4, 2020

The politics that underpinned a pivotal presidency

History: Forgotten Patriot: Douglas Hyde and the Foundation of the Irish Presidency, By Brian Murphy, Collins Press, €19.95

23rd October, 2016
Douglas Hyde (centre) leaving Government Buildings in Dublin with Eamon de Valera and Sean O’Kelly after being nominated president in 1938 Pic: Getty

There is a perception that, until the two Marys shook things up in the 1990s, the office of President of Ireland was an uncontentious backwater. It was God’s waiting room – somewhere to shunt Eamon de Valera when he was finally persuaded, aged 77, to relinquish the reins of power.

Or else a white elephants’ graveyard where minds as astute as Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh’s or Patrick Hillery’s were forced into exile....

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