Were De Valera’s personal Catholic views responsible for the religious elements in the Irish Constitution?

1369 WordsJul 16, 20186 Pages
Were De Valera’s personal Catholic views responsible for the religious elements in the Irish Constitution? Eamon De Valera put much effort into the making of the Irish Constitution. In fact he is said to have “helped to confirm the stable, constitutional direction of the independent Irish state. ” The Constitution is often referred to as “De Valera’s Constitution ” as it was something that he put so much effort and time into. Chubb has said that at times, De Valera seemed to see Catholicism and Irishness as the one and the same. He uses a reference from De Valera’s Patrick’s Day broadcast to demonstrate this; “Since the coming of St. Patrick, fifteen hundred years ago, Ireland has been a Christian and a Catholic nation. All the ruthless…show more content…
After reading it, De Valera replied that the majority of the work could not be used in the actual body of the constitution, but perhaps in the preamble. It seems that the committee of Jesuits were worried that Cahill had “gone rogue” and was adding bits to their suggestions without telling them. As a result of this their report was to be “a formal submission qhich would be sent to De Valera as an official presentation from the Irish Province of Jesuits” rather than going through Cahill as they had previously been doing. Three intellectuals John McErlean, Joseph Canavan and Edward Coyne were appointed to this project to help Cahill. Fr Coyne said that a constitution “should define ...... the rights of the individual..... which he could not surrender to any Government.” They looked to the preamble of the Polish constitution for inspiration on the following subjects; the rights of the family (in particular education), religion to be thought in denominational schools (where possible), the state would not be able to dissolve a valid marriage, State relations with the Catholic Church were to be defined by a Concordat, freedom of religious worship, ecclesiastical property, private property, freedom of speech and of the press. These were initially taken by the group from the Polish constitution and then tweaked to suit Ireland. Cahill tried to pass this work off as his

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