Ó Buachalla (Ua Buachalla), Domhnall (Donal/Daniel Richard Buckley) (1866–1963), republican and last governor general of the Irish Free State, was born 3 February 1866 in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, one of four sons and a daughter of Cornelius Buckley, shopkeeper and native Irish-speaker from Co. Kerry, and Sarah Buckley (née Jacob), whose father, Joshua Jacob (qv), was the founder of the ‘white quakers’. Educated at Maynooth national school, Belvedere College, Dublin, and the Catholic University School, Dublin, he joined his father's business in Maynooth. A fluent Irish-speaker and a supporter of the revival of the Irish language, he was a member of the Gaelic League in Maynooth and started Irish classes in the town. In 1905 he was prosecuted for using the Irish version of his name on his cart. Defended unsuccessfully by P. H. Pearse (qv), he was fined, and as he refused to pay the fine, goods of an equivalent value were seized from his shop and sold at public auction; the purchaser returned them to Ó Buachalla.
A member of the IRB and active in the Irish Volunteers, he was in Maynooth on Monday 24 April when he learned by chance that the Easter rising was underway. He made his way to Dublin the next day and joined the fighting in the GPO, during which he killed two soldiers in the doorway of the Evening Mail office, and also a sniper who was operating from McBirney's drapery. Afterwards he was imprisoned in Knutsford and Frongoch until December 1916. Elected as Sinn Féin MP for Kildare North in the 1918 general election, when he defeated the sitting Irish party MP, John O'Connor (qv), he was reelected unopposed for Kildare–Wicklow in the 1921 general election. He fought with the anti-treaty IRA during the civil war and was imprisoned in Dundalk in 1922–3. An unsuccessful republican candidate for Kildare–Wicklow and Kildare in the general elections of 1922 and 1923 respectively, he was elected as Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare in both 1927 general elections but was defeated in 1932, which was a surprise given the strong swing in favour of Fianna Fáil. On the rare occasions when he spoke in Dáil Éireann, he did so in Irish.
After his defeat he was appointed chairman of a commission to investigate conditions in the Gaeltacht. He retired from business in 1932, and in November 1932 he was appointed governor general of the Irish Free State after the removal from office of James McNeill (qv) by Eamon de Valera (qv). In line with de Valera's policy of seeking to reduce the significance of the governor general's office as part of his dismantling of dominion status, Ó Buachalla used the title an seanascal (chief steward); lived in modest houses in the Dublin suburbs rather than in the viceregal lodge; cycled rather than use an official car; received a reduced annual stipend of £1,200; refused to receive deputations or accept addresses of welcome; did not host receptions; never appeared at official functions; and was rarely seen in public. Therefore, by the time the office was abolished in 1936, it had virtually ceased to exist. From 1936 Ó Buachalla lived in retirement in Dublin at ‘Cliath Líos na Craoibhe’, Stillorgan Park, Blackrock, and then on Eglinton Road, Donnybrook. He died 30 October 1963.
He married (June 1897) Sinéad Walsh (d. 4 July 1918); they had seven children.