Stephen Jordan T.D. Athenry


It was my pleasure to spend an hour with retired President Eamonn de Valera, in Linden Nursing Home, Blackrock, a year before he died in his nineties. One had the impression that he was a very austere, dark, serious figure.

However, he emerged as a humane, good-humoured person, very clear in mind and pleased to talk about his life and times.
He enquired about various people he had known in Co. Galway especially those who were of his own political persuasion like Bishop Michael Browne, Monsignor Padraic de Brun and Senator Helena Concannon.

‘Tell me, did you ever come across Stephen Jordan from Athenry?’ He was pleased when I told him, I knew him to see. ‘He was a great friend of mine and a very amusing character. Although, I used to think he found some of the Dáil debates boring, but he was a very loyal colleague.

Will you do me a favour?’ continued Mr. de Valera, ‘when you go home will you call down to Athenry and give Mr. Jordan my best wishes?’ That was a Saturday night. On Monday morning I sought out the Jordan residence and knocked at the door.

Stephen himself replied. Having introduced myself, I told him I had met a friend of his in Dublin on Saturday night and he had asked me to convey his warmest regards. Stephen didn’t seem over interested as he dangled a cigarette on his lips and kept his hands deep in his pockets. ‘Who was he?’ he enquired. ‘A man called de Valera’, I replied.

The scene changed completely. The hands came out of the pockets and the cigarette was taken from his mouth. ‘Are you telling me the truth?’ he asked. When I told him I was, tears came to his eyes and flowed freely.
‘Well’, he said, ‘you have made my day. He was a great friend of mine`.

M.C. for the Athenry Journal August 1995
    

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