Domhnall Ua Buachalla (1866/1963) was born on the 3rd of February 1866 in Maynooth, county Kildare. His father, Cornelius Buckley, a shopkeeper, was a native Irish speaker from county Cork. His mother, Sarah Jacob, was the daughter of Joshua Jacob, the founder of the 'White Quakers'. Ua Buachalla was one of five children and followed his father by joining the family business in Maynooth after finishing his studies at the Catholic University School.
Ua Buachalla, himself a fluent speaker, became a well-known supporter of the Irish language and a member of the Gaelic League. He organised the Maynooth branch of the League and ran Irish language classes in the town.
In 1905, Ua Buachalla was prosecuted for the crime of having his name on the side of his delivery cart in Irish. He lost his case, and as he refused to pay the fine, the local sheriff had goods confiscated from Ua Buachalla's shop. The goods were sold at public auction, after which the sole bidder, returned the items to Ua Buachalla.
Ua Buachalla was also a member of the Irish Volunteers and a friend of Patrick Pearse. On hearing that the Rising had begun in Dublin on the 24th of April 1916, he and 14 others of the Maynooth Volunteers marched to Dublin to join in the fight. They first called to Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth to receive a blessing from its President, Monsignor John R. Hogan.
After his subsequent arrest Ua Buachalla was imprisoned in Knutsford jail before being transferred to Frongoch internment camp. He remained a prisoner until December 1916.
Ua Buachalla political career began in earnest when he won a seat in the 1918 general election as a member of Sinn Féin. Ua Buachalla refused to take his seat in Westminster and attended the opening session of the first Dáil on the 21 January 1919.
He was elected unopposed in the 1921 election, again standing for Sinn Féin. He opposed the Treaty and fought with anti-treaty forces in the ensuing Civil War, resulting in his imprisonment in Dundalk in 1922. He lost his parliamentary seat in the election of 1922 but successfully fought the 1927 elections, standing as Fianna Fáil candidate in Kildare. He held this position until his defeat five years later in the 1932 election.
Ua Buachalla retired from business in 1932 and was appointed chairman of a commission to investigate conditions in the Gaeltacht. However by November of the year he was asked by De Valera to take up the office of Governor General. This appointment was part of De Valera's efforts to dismantle parts of the Treaty and remove all reference to the King in the Irish Constitution. Rather than living in the viceregal lodge and hosting functions, Ua Buachalla as Governor General lived modestly and was rarely seen in public. His most notable acts while in office were his signing of the Constitutional Removal of Oath Act of 1933 and the Constitutional Amendment no. 27 bill of 1936, which abolished the office of Governor General.
He married Sinéad Walsh in 1897 and they had seven children. He died on the 30th of October 1963 and was given a State Funeral with full military honours.
This collection consists of a series of documents relating to Domhnall Ua Buachalla interests and political career from 1900 to 1968.
The earliest material includes receipts and letters relating to Ua Buachalla's involvement with the Gaelic League and Irish language classes in Maynooth, including a series of letters from Mícheal Ó hÍceadha, Professor of Irish, Saint Patrick's College Maynooth and Vice-President of the Gaelic League.
The collection also contains documents relating to Ua Buachalla's role in the Irish Volunteers in Maynooth, his interment in Frongoch in 1916, his involvement in Sinn Féin, the Dáil and general elections and his role as Governor General.
Documents of note include enrolment forms for members of the Irish Volunteers in Maynooth from November 1914 (PP26/2/1/1), notice of order of internment issued to Ua Buachalla in 1916 (PP26/2/1/3) and a letter from Countess Markievicz, T.D. regarding farmers in Maynooth allowing land to go fallow (26 February 1920) (PP26/2/3/4). The collection also contains ephemera such as invitations, tickets, posters and flyers.
The documents have been arranged by each of these interests or organisations and into chronological order.