British gloated over poor showing at de Valera funeral

Official papers released in the North today under the 30-year disclosure rule show that British diplomats gloated over the absence of world leaders at the funeral of Eamon de Valera.

The former Irish president died in 1975 at the age of 92, but predictions that many heads of state would attend the funeral were never realised.

The papers made public today show that GW Harding, an official at the British Embassy in Dublin, gleefully noted at the time that the level of foreign representation was not as high as expected.

He said even the "anticipated crew of Irish-American vote-seeking politicians" had failed to put in an appearance.

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