Erskine H.Childers, 1905-74: President of Ireland - A Biography

Summoned from his English school in 1922, Childers was permitted by the Free State authorities to make one final visit to his condemned father in the cells of Portobello Barracks, Dublin, at the height of the Civil War. The ordeal had a profound impact on the sixteen-year-old, who promised his father to forgive every Minister in the Provisional Government who was responsible for his death and to do everything possible to ensure that the Childers name would become a healing memory. When that same schoolboy became President of Ireland, he was universally regarded as a man of peace. His death after only eighteen months in office brought the largest gathering of monarchs ever to assemble on Irish soil, to pay tribute.