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Eamon de Valera although born in New York City in the United States of America devoted his life to help the people of Ireland As he once said it If I wish to know what the Irish want I look into my own heart De Valera loved Ireland and its people with a deep and lasting passion It was he probably more than any other person in their history who helped that country win freedom from British rule and then shaped its history well into the twentieth century De Valeras mother Catherine Coll usually known as Kate came to the states in 1879 at the young age of twenty-three Like so many other Irish immigrants of that time she had suffered from poverty and even hunger in her native land and saw America as a place where she could go to try and get a fresh start She first took a job with a wealthy French family that was living in Manhattan This is where and when she met Vivion Juan de Valera He was a Spanish sculptor who came to the home of her employers to give music lessons to the children In 1881 the couple married A little over a year later while living at 61 east 41st Street Kate Coll de Valera gave birth to the couples only child His name was Edward called by Eddie at first but would become known to the world by the Irish variation of that name Eamon Always in poor health Vivion de Valera left his young family behind him and traveled to Colorado hoping that perhaps the healthier air would help him out Within a few months he died Now a widow Kate went back to work leaving Eamon in the care of another woman who also had come from the tiny village of Bruree in County Limerick Later in his life Eamon would remember occasional visits from as he knew her a woman in
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