EIRE: Collected Chips

After 16 years of rule, solemn old Eamon de Valera was out. In the Dail, longtime Dev-baiting Deputy James Dillon declaimed: "Thanks be to God!"

Up to the very moment when the Dail met to elect a Taoiseach (literally: leader) , Dev had been hopeful. Of the splinter parties which had ended his Fianna Fall majority, he cracked scornfully: "Many a chisel has lost chips, but did you ever see anybody collecting the chips and trying to make another chisel out of them?"

Yet this time the magnet of politics held the anti-Dev chips together. The victors elected unassuming 56-year-old John...

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