Fascinating tales from Éamon de Valera’s darkest days | Irish Examiner
of a deprived social and emotional climate and that appropriate therapy Prof Fitzgerald suggests that WB Yeats and Eamon de Valera were Yeats remained obsessed for many years but she had no personal relationship with him. relate to Michael Collins, who was a much more "human individual". WHEN Michael Collins was killed in , there was considerable anguish and national mourning, while his nemesis Éamon de Valera was. He deplores that the Collins/De Valera Pact was not given the chance it deserved , . in relation to the Oath of Allegiance provided for in Article 17 of the Treaty.
He was hoping de Valera would lead a war of independence against the British. Irish-American elements were seriously split, and de Valera later stated that he thought he could help to unite them, but he only made matters worse. American people traditionally resented foreign interference in their politics, so Cohalan insisted he was campaigning in the interest of the US.
When de Valera insisted on being consulted about the political tactics being used, Cohalan balked. When Michael Collins took over as acting president following the arrest of Arthur Griffith in late Novemberde Valera promptly decided to return to Ireland. De Valera then pointedly appointed Austin Stack as deputy president, in place of Collins. After being invited to London for talks by Lloyd George in Julyde Valera refused to take Collins with him, but he later insisted on the inclusion of Collins in the delegation to negotiate a settlement.
The president saddled that delegation with the responsibility of negotiating and signing a treaty, but balked when they signed it without giving him the last say. He later lied about opposing the Treaty because of partition.
Michael Collins: Love, hate, and the Big Fellow’s public image | Irish Examiner
He'd been through the futile Battle of Beleek - the first and last time the army of the southern state was sent accross the border to protect northern Catholics. Michael saw what life was going to be like in twentieth century Ireland, north and south.
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And he was conscious that he, more than anyone, had created this monster. He couldn't live with it. And the Catholic Church as the real government of southern Ireland. And isolation and aparteid for northern Catholics. He did not relish the prospect of being a helpless bystander for the rest of his life, unable to do much to even modidy slightly the sad farce that was to ensue from half-independence in southern Ireland. Michael would have been thoroughly miserable if he had lived.
His reckless behaviour at Beal na mBlath showed several indications that he intended and strongly desired the military equivalent of 'suicide by cop.
The convoy could have driven around the barricade and out of danger. Collins insisted they stop and fight. When he was shot he was exposing himself to fire, out in the open and running after the retreating irregulars.
Inthe Statute of Westminster became law just five days after the 10th anniversary of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, formally recognising dominion independence. De Valera candidly admitted on coming to power a few months later that he had underestimated the freedom conferred by the Treaty.
Hence it took de Valera almost 10 years to prove that Collins was indeed right.
Michael Collins - thinking the unthinkable
This was done by unilaterally by abolishing the Treaty-oath, and by persuading the British to surrender their Treaty-right to use Irish ports and whatever facilities they might desire in time of war, or international tension. De Valera also introduced a new Constitution, voted in by a plebiscite inreplacing the king as head of state with a democratically elected president. Thus Collins was proved right about the Treaty containing the freedom to achieve the desired freedom, but ironically it was de Valera who proved this in the face of the determined opposition of Fine Gael, which had essentially betrayed the Collins legacy.
As a result, de Valera got the credit, and Collins was essentially shunted into the shadows of history, from which he did not begin to re-emerge until the s. Collins was gradually accorded proper recognition with a series of biographies, television documentaries, and eventually the movie starring Liam Neeson. In this address I highlighted the small difference that had divided Collins and de Valera.