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Lois Peña Novo

He was born on August, 5th 1893, dying on July, 24th 1967 in a traffic accident.

He studied at the Seminary of Mondoñedo and afterwards he studied Law in the University of Santiago de Compostela.

In 1916, the year of the foundation of the first Irmandade da Fala (literally, Language Fraternity, a nationalist association created to defend, dignify and cultivate Galician language as the essence of the collective identity), he joined the Irmandade of Santiago de Compostela, participating as a co-founder of Vilalba's Irmandade. From that moment on, he always stood out in the different conceptualisations of Galician self-government up to 1936.

In 1918 he was one of the most active editors of the Programme of the Irmandades da Fala, which was approved during the Nationalist Assembly held in Lugo, when the basic Galician nationalist ideology was set for the later foundation of the Galician Nationalist Party, in 1931. Among other points, the programme included the petition of self-governing for Galicia as well as gender equality.

In 1921, he published the book "La Mancomunidad Gallega" (literally, "Galician Joint of Municipalities"), which was in the 20's decade the reference book for Galician nationalist when the time came to specify their longing for self-government.

At the beginning of the Second Republic –more precisely, two month after its constitution- he was a member of the committee that edited the Project of Statute of Autonomy for the Galician Republican Federation, as well as being the reader and defender of this project during its presentation.

In June 1936, he took part in the campaign in favour of Galician Statute. On May, 8th 1936, he attended the meeting to elect the President of the Republic with the aim of promoting the project of statute, in a moment that was considered to be "splendid to subject to referendum the project of Galician Statute".

Lois Peña was also the first councillor in Galicia chosen from a nationalist list of candidates, being elected for the Town Council of A Coruña in the elections held on February 8th, 1920.

Having published many books and hundreds of articles, Lois Peña was one of the main specialists in the socioeconomic reality of Galicia during the first third of the last century. He was as well a servant of the Second Republic, both in relation to the posts he occupied (Civil Governor of Seville, Civil Governor of Valencia, Civil Governor of Cáceres, and General Governor of Extremadura) and to his defence of the Republic after the military uprising of July 18th, 1936.

His adhesion to the side that lost Spanish Civil War made him suffer great hardships: he was imprisoned in Lugo and then in Baralla; he was later deported to Mallén, Zaragoza; and, finally, at the end of the war, he was imprisoned in vilalba, his home town.

About the last stage of his life, the longest one, it is only known that he attended in 1945 to a meeting held in A Coruña through the initiative of Ramón Piñeiro. In this meeting they planned to found a democratic front opposite to the Francoist dictatorship; but the imprisonment of Ramón Piñeiro two years later spoiled their aims and brought to an end Lois Peña's political activity.

Since then, he focused his life on the private field, practising law in his office of Vilalba. The only exception was when he was awarded with the Mourente Award for his article "La inversión del ahorro campesino" ("The investment of peasants' savings"), in February 1959. This article was published in the newspaper "La Noche" under the pseudonym Luís Cadaval.

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