21.6 x 13.8 cm. with 24 illus.
Hurriedly summoned from his English public school in November 1922, Erskine Childers was permitted by the Free State authorities to make one brief, final visit to his condemned father in the cells of Portobello Barracks, Dublin, at the height of the Civil War. Not surprisingly, such an emotional ordeal had a profound and lasting impact on the sixteen-year-old boy, who had promised his father in the death-cell to shake hands with and forgive every Minister in the Provisional Government who were responsible for his death, and that if he entered Irish politics himself he would never mention the execution in public, and do everything possible to ensure that the Childers name would become a healing memory.
A little over half a century later when that same schoolboy became President of Ireland he was universally regarded as a man of peace. His sudden death after only eighteen months in office brought the largest gathering of monarchs and rulers ever to assemble on Irish soil, to pay tribute to Erskine Childers in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, while people wept openly in the streets outside.
This work tells of the patient determination that nothing and no one would divert Erskine Childers from the exacting task he had promised to undertake, and of the very considerable contributions to Ireland that he was able to make in the process, in the various ministeries that he headed, and finally as the country’s first citizen, the fourth President of the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Jack Lynch, Ireland’s premier from 1966-73, and 1977-79, has written a foreword for this biography.More info →