De Valera v Cowen

Dev must be turning in his grave over shaming of his proud old party
Ryle Dwyer (Examiner)

I dunno is this all such a large departure from the massive unemployment and emigration of the 50s through to the mid 90s?

While not in any way a fan of what was a dreadful Government, the Cosgrave 1973-77 administration had Middle East chaos and war, oil crises, global stock market crashes in 74, stagflation, the worst years of the Troubles…pretty rough environment and in their case genuinely out of their control. Whereas most of Cowen’s problems, despite the spin, are self-inflicted.

Those in power in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s had quite a few major crises on their hands as well. Little minor things like a Civil War, the complete collapse of the economy, the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism, a minor incident known to history nerds as WWII, the complete collapse of the economy again, massive unemployment and emigration.

Claiming Cowen’s problems - and again it must be stressed, most of them self-inflicted - to be “unprecedented” or worse than anything his predecessors have had to face is just more of the same soft-soap pro-FF propaganda we’ve become used to from RTÉ.

However bad Cowen is at running the country, at least he is not dev. At least Cowen is merely like a fish out of water, dev would be driving the country back to the stone age and wanting us to thank him for it. dev would probably look on Cowen as a lesser version of himself - Cowen can bring the country to its knees, but dev would have us prostrate on the floor.

Silly commentators who realised that while he pulled a political stroke, he condemned the country to poverty for the next few decades.

Having once been lionized to an unreasonable degree, Dev has since become a figure of fun. Neither representation is fair. His economic management was certainly woeful on balance, though many developing countries adhered to similar theories for far longer. Ideas of economic nationalism, statism etc were fashionable at the time.

He does deserve credit for taking power in 1932 of a country on the verge of anarchy and leaving office in 1948 in a country largely at peace with itself. He faced down extremists in every corner, sometimes with very rough-handed methods, while simultaneously allowing some of the wounds in society to heal. To succeed in either of these challenges was difficult and efforts to solve one tended to aggravate the other so to make progress in both was a real achievment.

What struck me about the article is the account of the speech at the league of nations. Dev threw aside his notes and galvanised the world. Cowen threw aside his notes and galvanised IBEC…

Yeah right, Dev also had a good track record of running the country into the ground.

But I guess he did it intentionally. So um fair play to him.

Before they introduced the windows and orphans pensions in 1935, FF also seized the solvent pension funds.