Eamon De Valera image

Eamon de Valera was born in New York in October 1882 and was brought up in County Limerick by his grandmother. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and was Commander in Boland’s Mills during the 1916 Easter Rising. Following the surrender he was imprisoned for life, but was released a year later.

In the 1918 General Election, although still in prison De Valera was elected as the Sinn Féin representative for East Clare and appointed President of the newly assembled Dáil Éireann.

In July 1921 he sent a group of negotiators to London to reach an agreement which would end the War of Independence. De Valera rejected the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 and resigned as President. He led the Republican forces in the Civil War, but was defeated by the Free State government.

In 1926 he founded Fianna Fáil and won the general election of 1932. He was re-elected in 1933, 1937 and 1938. He formed two more governments in 1951 and 1957.

In 1959, at the age of 78 he succeeded Seán T O’Kelly as President of Ireland and was elected for a second term in 1966.

Eamon de Valera died in Dublin on the 29th August 1975 and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery.