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

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.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.