A native of Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Domhnall Ó Buachalla (also known as Ua Buachalla or Buckley) was a member of the Gaelic League, the Kildare Gaelic football team, the IRB, and the Irish Volunteers. A lieutenant in the Maynooth Company of the Kildare Brigade, he learned of the Rising’s outbreak from bread-van driver and, along with fourteen of his men, joined the GPO garrison. He took part in patrols to the Royal Exchange Hotel and the Dublin Bread company, and also operated as a sniper on Henry Street. After being interrogated in Kilmainham Gaol he was interned in Knutsford jail and Frongoch prison camp. He was released in December 1916 and elected as a Sinn Féin MP for Kildare North in the 1918 general election. He later participated in the War of Independence and fought on the anti-Treaty side during the Civil War until his imprisonment in Dundalk in 1922, a year in which he also lost his Dáil seat. He returned to the Dáil chamber in 1927 as a Fianna Fáil TD but subsequently lost his seat again in 1932, leading to his appointment as Governor General by Éamon de Valera in November of that year. In accordance with de Valera’s ambition to diminish the significance of the office, which represented British authority in Ireland, Ó Buachalla neglected his duties, failing to show up for public functions and abandoning the Vice Regal Lodge for a house in the suburbs of Dublin. Ó Buachalla’s wilful negligence paved the way for the removal of the office in the 1937 Constitution.
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