Seán Lemass tapes: the split in Sinn Féin and setting up of Fianna Fáil

The old Sinn Féin had collected ‘all sorts of queer cranks’ with ‘people making speeches in favour of vegetarianism and the single tax’

Seán Lemass addresses an election rally in Dublin in 1943. Photograph: Haywood Magee/Getty Images

Seán Lemass addresses an election rally in Dublin in 1943. Photograph: Haywood Magee/Getty Images

A victorious Fianna Fáil party in 1932 feared they would be subject to an army coup led by a man allegedly responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Civil War, Seán Lemass believed.

The party won 72 seats – five seats short of a majority – in the February 1932 general election, supplanting, with the support of the Labour Party, the Cumann na nGaedheal government, which had held power for 10 years.

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