After Ireland’s Independence was won in 1922, the country had to wait 16 years before its first president was sworn in – Douglas Hyde. He served a full term (seven years) before handing the office over to Séan T. O’Kelly in 1945, who served for two terms. After Kelly came Éamon de Valera. He spent the next 14 years as Head of State and the Supreme Commander of the Irish Defence Forces. Following on from this, in 1973, London-born Erskine H. Childers was elected Ireland’s fourth president but lasted one year in the Áras before passing away. Up next was Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh who spent the next two years in office before resigning. In 1976, Patrick Hillery became the next president – Ireland’s sixth – and spent two full terms. Mary Robinson took over from Dr Hillery, spent 14 years as Head of State, before Ireland’s second female president, Mary McAleese, took over.