Seán Lemass tapes: ‘I think there is a political advantage in having a certain anti-clerical tinge’
Lemass believed his row with the bishop of Galway led to his ‘enormous vote’ in the 1944 general election
From left: Dr Thomas Morris, archbishop of Cashel, president Éamon de Valera, Cardinal John D’Alton and taoiseach Seán Lemass at Dr Morris’s consecration at Thurles Cathedral in February 1960. Photograph: Gordon Standing
Seán Lemass may have lived during a time when the Catholic Church was dominant in Irish society, but, nevertheless, he always believed there was a strong sense of anti-clericalism in the Irish people.
In the Lemass tapes, the former taoiseach recounted a major row he had with the bishop of Galway, Dr Michael Browne, who was never slow in delivering instructions to the political classes.