Monday, 29 September 2014

The Deaths of Father Larry and Eamon De Valera

Lawrence Flanagan died on 3 April 1966 of coronary thrombosis and arteriosclerosis. He was 83 years old. His residence was at Williamstown and he died at North Adams. He was buried at St Albert’s Cemetery, Middleton, New York. He was a retired Roman Catholic Priest and his birthplace was Moate, Ireland. In the death record it was said under his parent’s names “cannot be learned”.

Flanagan’s lifelong friend Eamon De Valera was President of Ireland between 1921 and 1922, Taoiseach between 1937 and 1948 during which period he visited New York. He was also Taoiseach between 1951-54 and 1957-1959. He served two terms as Irish president between 1959 and 1973. In 1963 he received the state visit of American President John F Kennedy.

De Valera died in Linden Convalescent Home, Blackrock, County Dublin on 29 August 1975 aged 92. His wife, Sinéad de Valera (nee. Flanagan), four years his senior, had died the previous January, on the eve of their 65th wedding anniversary. He is buried in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery.

During their lifetimes the two men had swapped countries, De Valera born in New York and buried in Ireland, Flanagan born in Ireland and buried in New York. But the two men shared a lifelong devotion to the Roman Catholic faith and to Ireland.

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