In 1970, I met with several other friends and teachers in Dublin. One of them had political connections, so we got an audience with the President of Ireland, then Eamon de Valera, at the presidental mansion in Phoenix Park. Some of the visit I remember as comic: we arrived at the gate, all six of us, in a car not much bigger than a VW Beetle.I'm sure the guards were used to limos and grand cars coming up to the gate and thought "who are these jokers sitting on top of one another?"

They let us through and we waited for a short time in a gorgeously appointed parlor, before a military guard ushered us in. One thing I remember is that the soldier poked the President in the ribs as we neared and De Valera stuck out his hand, I suspect that Dev was so blind at the time that if he had to find our hands instead of the reverse, he might have had problems.

For a minute or two, we talked small talk. The President talked about the visit of JFK in 1963, and all the electronic paraphernalia that Kennedy had brought with him from America including the infamous "hot phone" connection to the Kremlin. Soon after, the soldier took a group picture, and we were gone. Later, I was advised not to make a big deal about the visit while I was in Ireland since the feelings about the 1922 treaty were still strong among survivors of these times.

In the photo, I am second from left (god, those sideburns!), My dad, who always found prime positions when pictures were taken, was on Dev's immediate right (looking at the picture).

Views: 240

Comment by Jim Curley on July 25, 2013 at 6:01pm
Can anyone name the man in the picture frame above Dev's head?
Comment by Frank walsh on August 2, 2013 at 10:46am

And sure who wouldn't recognize James Connolly above De Valera's head.

Comment by Frank walsh on August 2, 2013 at 10:47am

Sorry, had a closer look -it's Patrick Pearse

Comment by Jim Curley on August 2, 2013 at 12:23pm

It is Padraic Pearse.

Comment by Frank walsh on August 2, 2013 at 12:46pm

Dev: I wonder what Padraig would have thought of Dev if he survived long enough?

Comment by Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill on August 2, 2013 at 3:20pm

The first you do when you get your revolution is to get rid of the revoluntionaries.

Comment by Frank walsh on August 2, 2013 at 3:38pm

And they did get rid of the revolutionaries - and who (or what) was left?

Comment by Gerry Regan on July 10, 2014 at 12:31pm

Amazing moment, Jim. Are you sure you're not the younger-looking guy on the right of the photo, in the Aran sweater, looking into the camera?

Comment by Jim Curley on July 10, 2014 at 2:14pm

Would that time were so kind.

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