Tim Ellis: Why did the Long Fellow last so long?: De Valera in the Irish imagination, 1916-2020
Éamon de Valera cast a significant influence over Irish politics for nearly sixty years. Internationally, no other democratically-elected leader, has served as long in office.
Crucial to de Valera’s political endurance was a potent, yet also vibrant and changeable public image. This lecture explores the changing ways in which de Valera has been perceived over time. Over his lengthy political career, de Valera shifted from a youthful, charismatic revolutionary, to a more respectable, elder statesman. In his afterlife, de Valera has become a by-word for a now-outdated, insular and socially conservative Ireland.
This lecture examines a variety of different sources, such as accounts of contemporary observers, photographs, political cartoons, radio, television and film; to show the many diverse faces of the most prominent political figure in twentieth century Ireland.
Sunderland-born and bred, Tim Ellis has studied at Oxford and Belfast, and is now currently researching a PhD in the politics of visual culture in the Irish Free State, at Teesside University.