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Thread: Was the controversy over Dev's supposed illegitimacy ever sorted out?

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    Politics.ie Member cry freedom's Avatar
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    Default Was the controversy over Dev's supposed illegitimacy ever sorted out?

    Some years back there was a big Hu Ha over whether Dev's mother was ever married and who the mysterious Mr De Valera Senior, actually was.
    I seem to remember that when the records were checked in America, they were conveniently found to have disappeared.
    A very FF sort of an occurrence, if I may be so bold!
    Was this ever sorted to any degree of certainty?
    Last edited by cry freedom; 25th October 2010 at 12:05 AM.

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    Im not sure if he was illegitmate, but he certainly was a bástard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cael View Post
    Im not sure if he was illegitmate, but he certainly was a bástard.
    Why were children born out of wedlock,considered illegitimate back then?

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    Cue rants, untruths and general ignorance about a 1916 patriot, constitution writer, founder of the most successful political party, an internatonslly recognised statesman and the leader who kept us out of a world war when we would have been levelled by the Germans.

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    Most historians have concluded that he was indeed illegitimate. Despite extensive searches, no records have been found for his parents supposed marriage. The dates the family had don't match with any state records.

    There was a tendency among emigrants if a woman became pregnant to claim that she had married someone and then been widowed, so as to explain how she had a child and no husband. My suspicion, having been researching the general issue of emigrants abroad to find information on what my own relatives experienced, is that Kate Coll got pregnant and used a version of the name of a someone who had lived in her building and then moved away as the supposed dead husband.

    The fact that no records exist of a marriage, or a death, or of the existence of a Juan Vivion de Valera, suggests that. In addition, if she had been married, why would she have given birth in a hospital for unmarried mothers and named as her next of kin her brother, not her husband? And why was she brought there by her employer, not her husband?

    It is hardly a big issue, though. Whether de Valera was illegitimate or not is not relevant except as a biographical fact.
    "In [Ireland] a wife is regarded as a chattel, just as a thoroughbred mare or cow." Mr Justice Butler in the Irish courts. 'Traditional Marriage' in the 1970s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaxHavenSite View Post
    Why were children born out of wedlock,considered illegitimate back then?
    Another form of social control - like private landed property. The two concepts, of course, are not unrelated.

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    Default Was the controvercy over Dev's supposed illegitimacy ever sorted out

    No, I don't think the definitive word has yet been spoken.

    But Tim Pat Coogan did cover the issue extensively in his biograhy of the Long Fellow: his book was simply called De Valera.

    Also did a great biography of Michael Collins.

    In one sense, the issue is irrelevant. It does not matter what side of the blanket Dev was born on - it was his evil impact on the body politic of Ireland that really matters.

    Dev was not the author of his own birth circumstances but he was responsible for a great deal of misery, mayhem, and sanctimonious indulgence during his chequered life time.

    That to me is the real measure of the man, not whether his mother was licentious in her favours.
    Last edited by Warren Poynt; 25th October 2010 at 02:15 AM. Reason: Incorrect spelling of Tim Pat Coogan's nameo

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    Dev's biological father was a landlord called Gubbins from Limerick, near where Catherine Coll came from. She was pregnant when she went to America, a quite common occurrence then. DevilEire name was pure fiction invention.

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    Politics.ie Member cry freedom's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=TommyO'Brien;3105114]Most historians have concluded that he was indeed illegitimate. Despite extensive searches, no records have been found for his parents supposed marriage. The dates the family had don't match with any state records.

    There was a tendency among emigrants if a woman became pregnant to claim that she had married someone and then been widowed, so as to explain how she had a child and no husband. My suspicion, having been researching the general issue of emigrants abroad to find information on what my own relatives experienced, is that Kate Coll got pregnant and used a version of the name of a someone who had lived in her building and then moved away as the supposed dead husband.

    The fact that no records exist of a marriage, or a death, or of the existence of a Juan Vivion de Valera, suggests that. In addition, if she had been married, why would she have given birth in a hospital for unmarried mothers and named as her next of kin her brother, not her husband? And why was she brought there by her employer, not her husband?

    It is hardly a big issue, though. Whether de Valera was illegitimate or not is not relevant except as a biographical fact.[/QUOTE]

    Of itself it is not a big issue, I agree.
    Whether he was born inside or outside wedlock does not reduce or enhance his memory as far as I am concerned. However if you grew up in the Ireland of the 40s and 50s, [as I did] and witnessed the church led discrimination against so called bastards you might forgive a retrospective rye smile at their kowtowing to Dev and he to them.

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    This man (De Valera) was no "1916 patriot".

    He was a coward who shirked his duties and responsibilities towards his fellow Volunteers.

    You'll recall he was holed-up with his garrrison in Boland's Mills, a short distance away from Mount Street Bridge where the most ferocious battle of the 1916 Rising (apart from the GPO) was fought.

    Unless he was deaf as well as blind, he would have heard the tumult of battle as the Mount Street Bridge mini-garrison held out against the Shedwood Forresters who were making their way into the city of Dublin from Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) to quash the Rebellion.

    But Dev never fired a single shot in the Rising and never went to the aid of his colleagues 150 yards away while they were being blasted by the full force of the British Army.

    No. He just sat on his hands and eventually surrendered.

    To my mind, he ought to have been court martialed for his indolence and betrayal of the ideals of Easter Week.

    A cowardly figure in Irish politics............his court martial would have prevented much of the misery, loss of life and craw thumpery that subsequently peppered his and Irish life.

    It's no wonder his own wife, Sinead, did not speak to him for many years over his part in the assassination of Michael Collins.

    1916 'patriot', how are yeh !!!!!!

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