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    The Political Career of Erskine Hamilton Childers, 1905-74

    Hynes, Michael Gerald (2008) The Political Career of Erskine Hamilton Childers, 1905-74. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Erskine Hamilton Childers, hereafter cited as Childers, was born on the 11 December 1905 and died during his term as President of Ireland on 17 November 1974. First elected to Dáil Éireann in 1938, Childers successfully contested all subsequent general elections until he resigned his Dáil seat to successfully contest the presidential election in 1973. Childers held the ministerial portfolios of Posts and Telegraphs, Lands Forestry and Fisheries, Transport and Power and Health. He also served as Tánaiste while Minister for Health. Childers represented the constituency of Athlone-Longford, later reconstituted as Longford-Westmeath, from 1938 until 1961 at which time he transferred to Monaghan where he remained until his resignation in 1973. Childers was educated in England but he developed a love for Ireland from a very young age. He was greatly influenced by both his parents, particularly his father, Robert Erskine Childers, who was executed by the Irish Free State in 1922. Childers was totally dedicated to all his portfolios, he was named Minister of the Year in 1970 by Newsweek magazine. This thesis explores Childers political contribution and examines a number of key issues and themes throughout his political career. Such themes include the development and subsequent management of the Irish broadcasting service; the development of natural resources such as land, fisheries and tourism; the evolution of infrastructural services including train services and the Irish post and telecommunications system, and the development of the health system. Childers held responsibilities in all of these areas at different stages in his political career. Other more controversial issues which are examined include Childers decision to return to Ireland in 1931, his place within the Fianna Fáil party, the extent to which Childers ever understood the Irish political system, and the influence of the Catholic Church on his political career.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Political Career; Erskine Hamilton Childers; 1905-74;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History
    Item ID: 6985
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 14:53
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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