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Sinéad de Valera, also known as Sinéad Bean de Valera1 (pronounced: shin-aid ban deh-vuh-lair-ruh), (3 June 1878 - 7 January 1975), was the wife of the Irish republican leader and third President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera.

Born Janice Flanagan in Balbriggan, County Dublin, she trained as a teacher and took up her first post in a national school in Dorset Street, Dublin. In her spare time she taught Irish with the Gaelic League in Parnell Square. One of her Irish students was Eamon de Valera, then a teacher of maths. On 8 January 1910 they were married. Together they had five sons and two daughters. During her husband's 50 years in public life she played little or no public rôle. Following the Easter Rising in 1916 she saw little of her husband. In 1932 de Valera became head of the government, and Sinéad de Valera started writing stories for children in both English and Irish. Though she kept to the background as far as public matters were concerned, Sinéad was a highly political person. Rumours differ, however, as to whether she was in fact more moderate or more radical than her husband. During her husband's fourteen years as President of Ireland she appeared in public on only very rare occasions.

Sinéad de Valera died on 7 January 1975 on the eve of her sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. Her husband Éamon died nearly eight months later, on 29 August 1975. She is buried with him in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

Footnote

1 "Sinéad wife of de Valera". This old form of address for married women has now largely, though not entirely, fallen from use.

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