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Uachtarán na hÉireann

Uachtarán na hÉireann

Leabharlann na Meán
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Inauguration Address by President Eamon de Valera 26th June 1966, Dublin Castle



A Thaoisigh, táim fior-bhuíoch duit faoin méid atá ráite im thaobh. Is mór an onóir d’aon duine a bheith tofa mar Uachtarán ar Mhuintir an tsean-náisiúin seo. Is mór agam í agus tá mé an-bhuíoch do gach aon duine a chuidigh liom mise a chur in san áit seo. Tá mé an bhuíoch dóibh agus slán a bhéas siad uilig.

{ Taoiseach, I am truly grateful  to you for what has being said about me. It is a great honour for anyone to be elected as President of the people of this old nation. I deeply appreciate this and I am very grateful to everyone who helped put me here. I am very grateful to them and I wish them all safe and well. }

I want to thank you all for coming here and, by your presence gracing these proceedings. You our Cardinal, Your Graces,  My Lords, Your Excellencies, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the Oireachtas,  representatives for the Dáil and Senate, the judiciary, representatives of the Civil Service, the Army and the Guards- I would like to thank each one of you for coming here on this occasion.

As, I have said Taoiseach, it is a great honour for anybody to be chosen for President of the people of this great old nation. I would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to giving me this honour. I thank you very heartily. I can only promise to do my very best to be worthy- a worthy representative of our nation. It is, indeed, not an easy thing to be that, because this nation has a storied history and is highly regarded amongst the nations of the earth.

We have an importance far beyond our size, of our territory or the numbers of our people. The Taoiseach has mentioned two cherished aims which have not yet been realised- the unity of our country and the restoration of our language.

I have spoken of these topics at the commemoration ceremonies at the Post Office, and it would not be appropriate, I think, for me to enter into them in any detail here. I must say that, with an audience like this, I am very much tempted to deal with the question of our language and its importance, if we are to maintain our individuality as a nation in the modern world. However, as I have said this is not the occasion for an address of that kind. I do hope, however, that on some occasion we will have an assembly just such as this. There was one at the beginning of this century; shortly after the Gaelic League was established, and the proceedings of that assembly did much to get our people to understand how precious was the language from the national point of view. That may happen in the future.

It is possible that we could have an assembly like this where the question of language could be dealt with fully and freely, and decisions arrived at, which would stop us from hesitations and stopping’s, which undo, to a large extent, much of the work that has been done.

As to the unity of the country, there is a unity imposed upon us whether we like it or not. We are all inhabitants of this glorious little island. We are all proud- I never met an Irishman or Irishwoman abroad, who was not proud to lay claim to this island, to say that they were Irishmen or Irishwomen. That is the unity which is there and which I have no doubt whatever would lead to the political unity which is not so far way- the political unity which we so desire. But, as I have said, this is not the occasion on which one should speak of these problems. I simply want then, once more , to thank you all for your coming here and to pray that  God may give me the strength to perform the duties worthily and once more to thank you all for your presence.