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Was Éamon de Valera Ireland’s Franco?

A vast number emigrated during de Valera’s rigid theocracy, which lasted over half a century — a fact he barely acknowledged, according to Ronan Flanning’s biography,

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

Éamon de Valera: A Will to Power Ronan Fanning

Faber, pp.320, £20, ISBN: 9780571312054

A highlight of this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival was the Rough Magic Theatre Company’s production of The Train, a musical by Arthur Riordan and Bill Whelan. Political theatre at its wittiest and craziest, it told the story of the fledgling Irish Women’s Liberation Movement’s publicised trip in 1971 to Belfast to buy contraceptives, ostentatiously importing these banned Satanic devices back into the Republic, where the law obeyed the writ of the Catholic church.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £17, Tel: 08430 600033. Roy Foster’s many books on Ireland include Luck and the Irish, Modern Ireland, The Irish Story and a two-volume life of W.B. Yeats.

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