IRISH REPUBLIC: The Taoiseach Is Home

In a nation whose heroes have often been martyred failures, Eamon de Valera survived and succeeded. Through a defeated insurrection and a lost civil war, "Dev" struggled to free and unite the nation that had adopted him. When he died last week in Dublin, 92 and nearly blind, few of his countrymen could recall a time when De Valera's gaunt, beak-nosed visage was not a part of Irish political life.

He was an unlikely prophet to his people. Born in New York City to a Spanish musician father and an Irish immigrant mother,...

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