City Hall Reception for Eamon De Valera

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This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

At City Hall. Eamon De Valera, former president and prime minister of Ireland, receives honorary citizenship to New York City. Thomas Cowan reporting the events. Grover A. Whalen and Vincent Impellitteri, President of the City Council, are present.

Band performs Star Spangled Banner. Frank Ryan of the Police Department sings The Soldier's Song.

Hon. Grover A. Whalen makes an introduction. A Boy from Manhattan island who had made good overseas as well as at home. Our distinguished guest showed great courage in his struggle for freedom for Ireland.

Speaking on behalf of Mayor O'Dwyer is Mr. Impellitteri. Mayor O'Dwyer is just as much a part of this event, heart and soul, as if he were here in our presence. Reads the speech from Mayor O'Dwyer: "Know all men by these presence that I, William O'Dwyer, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby cite for distinguished and exceptional public service honorable Eamon De Valera, whose pubic benefactions and the advancement of human liberty, and in the example of his enlightened statesmanship for the promotion of peace and happiness among all people have enlisted the heartfelt gratitude and the deep affection of the people of the City of New York." (Applause from the crowd.)

Impellitteri hands the scroll to De Valera and the photographers take pictures of the historic moment.

Whalen introduces Eamon DeValera. De Valera is overwhelmed by the honor and "the welcome that has been given to me because of the people and the cause which I represent..." The Irish people have been able to enact a constitution which was framed by their own freely elected representatives. Today, we have in 26 counties in Ireland a freedom as complete as the freedom of any country in the world. No one will be satisfied until all the counties are as free as the first 26. I am assured that that day will come. Speaks a few lines in Gaelic. Crowd applauds and cheers.

Impellitteri speaks again and confers in name of Mayor O'Dwyer the citizenship of De Valera.

Police Department Glee Club sing some Irish songs. New York Fire Department Band closes.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 34076
Municipal archives id: LT2438