Judging Dev - The Book
Judging Dev: A Reassessment of the Life and Legacy of Eamon De Valera
by Diarmaid Ferriter
Published by the Royal Irish Academy
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Many key letters, documents and photographs from the National Archives of Ireland and UCD Archives, School of History and Archives, are published in this book for the first time. One such document contradicts the widely held belief that de Valera escaped execution after the 1916 Rising because he was a US citizen. He argues quite convincingly that he escaped the firing squad because he was the last of the leaders to be court-martialled by which time public opinion had diminished the resolve of the British government
Some of the letters published are those that he received from correspondents as diverse as President Richard Nixon, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, and Lieutenant G.F. McKay, the only prisoner de Valera captured during the 1916 Rising.
An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, T.D., launched Judging Dev, the book published by the Royal Irish Academy, the RTÉ Radio 1 series and the RTÉ online archive exhibition re-examining the life and legacy of Eamon de Valera, on October 14th 2007 at the Royal Irish Academy on Dawson Street in Dublin.
Launching Judging Dev, An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, T.D., said;
"It is a special pleasure to launch what is a superb book on Eamon de Valera by Diarmaid Ferriter to accompany the RTÉ Radio 1 series, under the title Judging Dev. The book is very attractively presented, full of photographs and reproductions of important documents. The author, Diarmaid Ferriter, is very good at bringing history to a wider public.I imagine this book will be equally invaluable in the classroom, in college and in the home."
Professor James Slevin, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said;
"The Judging Dev project is timely because 2007 is the 70th anniversary of the Irish Constitution as well as being the 125th anniversary of Eamon de Valera's birth, but also because a re-examination of Eamon de Valera's important and sometimes controversial legacy is long overdue."
Cathal Goan, Director General of RTÉ, welcomed the collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy and said;
"RTÉ hopes that the book, radio series and online archive exhibition will stimulate lively and widespread interest in Eamon de Valera's complex legacy."
Diarmaid Ferriter, the author of Judging Dev and presenter of the forthcoming RTÉ Radio 1 series of the same name, said that too many accounts of de Valera's career and impact; "have sailed too close to hagiography or defamation. Much of the scapegoating of de Valera, and the preponderance of the 'dreary de Valera's Ireland' syndrome is born of an intellectual laziness, and it is legitimate to see it as a product of the critics' frustrations rather than any real engagement with the long and complex career of the man that they are determined to dismiss and belittle."