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

cry freedom

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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?
 
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Cael

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

Congalltee

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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.
 

TommyO'Brien

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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.
 

Cael

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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.
 

Warren Poynt

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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.
 
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Tomas Mor

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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.
 

cry freedom

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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.[/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.
 

Warren Poynt

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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 !!!!!!
 

TommyO'Brien

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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.
Unless she was pregnant for three years Gubbins was not de Valera's father.
 

dresden8

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Hey, the 19th century moralists rang.

They want their thread back.
 

Catalpa

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There is nothing to prove it one way or the other so I would tend to believe that he was born as a result of a matrimonial union between his mother & father.

The US is a big place & even today its accepted that a lot of things happen there that will never turn up in the written record

- let alone people trying to track it down 100 years hence!

Dev was a Patriot & a brave man

- if he was a coward there surely his fellow soldiers in Bolands Mill would have noticed?

IIRC this canard only cropped up in the last few years - long after all the participants have died

- go figure.

Dev might have been a cultural product of a rigid conservative Catholicism

- but he wasn't its creator.

He was a man of his times in terms of religious and moral conformism

- most people when he was in power would have had a similar viewpoint.
 

QuizMaster

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It seems almost certain that Kate Coll was not married.
As has been said many times above, it does not matter, he should not be stigmatised for being born outside wedlock.

It is an amazing fact though, that the name De Valera, which permeates Irish life in so many ways, was made up by a frightened young woman in the 1880s.

As for him being a coward, that is also well known. My grandfather was a first hand witness. How about driving around Dublin in an ambulance during the civil war? Way to dodge bullets.
 

cry freedom

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It seems almost certain that Kate Coll was not married.
As has been said many times above, it does not matter, he should not be stigmatised for being born outside wedlock.
It is an amazing fact though, that the name De Valera, which permeates Irish life in so many ways, was made up by a frightened young woman in the 1880s.

As for him being a coward, that is also well known. My grandfather was a first hand witness. How about driving around Dublin in an ambulance during the civil war? Way to dodge bullets.
Agreed. But if there is a truth to be known, it should be known.
 
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Agreed. But if there is a truth to be known, it should be known.
You are NOT INTERESTED in the truth. You are attempting a smear campaign nothing more, nothing less. Call it for what it is.

Now how about dealing with Michael Collins' Homosexuality.
 

QuizMaster

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You are NOT INTERESTED in the truth. You are attempting a smear campaign nothing more, nothing less. Call it for what it is.

Now how about dealing with Michael Collins' Homosexuality.
Yay a bit of whataboutery. At least you're not denying Edward Coll's cowardice. It's too well documented.

Edit: and btw I call him Edward because that's what he called himeslf before he re-invented himself as a phony Irish patriot:
http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000124143/
 

Tomas Mor

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Yay a bit of whataboutery. At least you're not denying Edward Coll's cowardice. It's too well documented.

Edit: and btw I call him Edward because that's what he called himeslf before he re-invented himself as a phony Irish patriot:
http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000124143/
And DevilEire was not adverse to a bit on the side either on his travels, while Sinéad was at home minding the kids and saying the rosary.
 


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