Domhnall Ua Buachalla: Rebellious Nationalist, Reluctant Governor
Adhamhnán O Súilleabháin
This is the first biography of Domhnall Ua Buachalla, a cultural nationalist, Gaelic Leaguer and friend of Pádraig Pearse, who became an Irish Volunteer leader in North Kildare, organising and arming the Maynooth rebels before marching to the GPO on Easter Monday 1916. It is a fascinating history of one’s man’s courage and the journey from rebel to high office in turbulent times.
This is the overdue biography of Domhnall Ua Buachalla, a cultural nationalist, Gaelic Leaguer and friend of Pádraig Pearse, who became an Irish Volunteer leader in North Kildare, arming the men of Maynooth and leading them on foot to the GPO on Easter Monday, 1916, where they took their orders from Connolly and Pearse. Following internment in Frongoch jail for eight months, he returned to a resounding success in the 1918 General Election and a seat in the First Dáil for North Kildare, which he held until 1932. Following his involvement in the War of Independence, he was later arrested near Kilcock for his anti-Treaty activities during the Civil War, and jailed in Dundalk but escaped when Frank Aiken dynamited the jail and freed all the prisoners.
In 1932, after de Valera dismissed James McNeill, it was Domhnall Ua Buachalla he turned to as the one man he trusted as his new Governer-General, and to implement his plan to see the Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown abolished. A controversial choice and anathema to Domhnall ua Buachalla’s political beliefs, he nonetheless accepted this crucial role. Ua Buachalla then retired from public life although years later he accepted de Valera’s invitation to be a member of the Council of State. He died in 1963, at the age of 97, a man of great courage and unquenchable resolve. This hitherto neglected figure lived his life for his country and his untold story is now brought centre stage in a remarkable biography and history of modern Irish politics.
Table of Contents
1. ‘Heathen Language’
2. A Deep Well of Hatred
3. A Family Rift
4. First Impressions
5. ‘Since It’s Yourself, £30 Will Do’
6. The Aud Debacle
7. An Axe Spiralled, a Soldier Dead
8. A University of Revolution
9. Death Strikes Twice
10. Maynooth Sanctuary
11.A Reluctant Chairman
12. No Time for Trousers
13. An Insult to People’s Intelligence
14. On The Run
15. Contrasting Views
16. Republicans Living in a Hostile Land
17. A Country to Know, to Love and to Serve
18. Life in the Park Ends
19. Séadna Emigrates
20. Dublin Castle Falls to the Gael
About the Author
Adhamhnán O Súilleabháin joined Irish Press Ltd in 1959 as a sports sub-editor on the Evening Press. Some years later he was appointed Deputy Sports Editor of the Sunday Press. In 1979 he became the Group Chief Sports News Editor, later appointed to Sports Editor of the Sunday Press. In 1988 he became Sports Editor of the Sunday Independent until his retirement in 2006.