De Valera

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Tue Jun 25 21:34:41 MDT 1996

At 08:41 AM 6/25/96 +0000, you wrote:
>De Valera as anti modernizing ?
>Whatever the ideology, Ireland was modernized in this period, using the state
>to keep out imports and build up industry. More like Nasser than Salazar.
 I need to check on this Adam.  I know De Valera was involved in a trade war
with the British but that is about the extent of my knowledge.  However most
recent work that I have read stresses that the real modernizer was Sean
Lemass, De Valera's deputy and successor.  There was a coalition government
in the early 50s (?) that deposed De Valera for a while and this was the
government that declared the Irish Repbublic and attempted to modernise some
social policies. There was a famous row over child welfare, the details of
which I have forgotten, but the Minister for Health, Dr. Noel Browne, was
overthrown by the Church Hierarchy.  If you are interested we can pursue
this with more detail.  But I think that this is a fair indication that the
process of modernisation had not taken place while De Valera was at the helm
and in fact could not begin until he retired.

Certainly the changes in the South of Ireland post De Valera and in recent
years  point to the rapid effects of modernization.  Most notably this has
been felt round the declining influence of  the Catholic church and the
scandals concerning cases of child abuse.  The latter is an extremely
emotive  issue but in many ways it is a very real metaphor for the
oppression, neglect and exploitation the poor that the Roman Catholic Church
carried out in the Name of God and the Nation.

The program you refer to has not been shown over here yet.  If it comes on I
amy be able to force myself to watch it.



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