Eamon de Valera Quotes

The majority has no right to do wrong.

 
Context
A delegation from Sinn Fein, headed by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, had negotiated a treaty of Irish Independence except that it did not cover Northern Ireland where the majority of the people wanted to stay a part of Britain. For 700 years, the Irish had fought for independence, and finally they got it for the vast majority of Ireland and the overwhelming majority of the Catholics of Ireland. The alternative to agreeing to the treaty was to continue the war between the IRA and the British Troops. At the time, the IRA was just about totally beaten and probably could not hold out another month. De Valera, a very shrewd politician, as the leader of Sinn Fein (and the IRA) would normally have headed the Irish Delegation. But he chose not to because he realized that they would never get independence for all 32 counties of Ireland as the British would not leave the Northern Ireland Protestants to their fates against their will. The best Ireland could get was Independence for all of Catholic majority Ireland. And he knew that public opinion would oppose giving up even one county becuse that was what the leaders had told the people for years. So De Valera let his two associates take the popular blame after he denounced the treaty with his famous quotation {639690}. Shortly after that, Michael Collins, the brilliant military Commander of the IRA who signed the treaty was assassinated. To many, it was as if De Valera had pulled the trigger. The treaty was ratified by a 7 vote margin by the Dail as there was no army left to fight, and the angry Irish electorate voted for De Valera as Ireland’s first President. The politician had won; the patriot had died. De Valera continued to speak out against the Dail Majority for the “immoral” act of ratifying the treaty
Eamon de Valera
Eamon de Valera
  • Born: October 14, 1882
  • Died: August 29, 1975
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Profession: Statesman

Éamon de Valera was a prominent statesman and political leader in 20th-century Ireland. His political career spanned over half a century, from 1917 to 1973; he served several terms as head of government and head of state. He also led the introduction of the Constitution of Ireland.