Eamon De Valera (1882-1975)

De Valera began his career teaching mathematics. In 1913 armed with a growing sense of patriotism he joined the Irish Repoblican Brotherhood and took a leading part in the 1916 Easter Rising. For this he was sentenced to death but was later reprived.

Upon release from jail he quickly emerged as a national political figure an played a decisive role in the Treaty negotiations of 1920-21 with England. In 1926 De Valera formed his own political party called Fianna Fail. From 1932 until 1948 the party held the balance of power in the Irish government with De Valera as Prime Minister. In 1937 he wrote a new constitution for Ireland which is still in effect today. He was elected President of the League of Nations in 1938 and through his effots to maintain world peace and then Irish nutrality during the 2nd World War he gained international respect and recognition.