Sean Lemass

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Then taoiseach Seán Lemass with president Éamon de Valera, Dr Thomas Morris and Cardinal Dalton (left). Photograph: Gordon Standing/The Irish Times

Seán Lemass told his son-in-law Charles Haughey that he would be a “fool” if he took a position equivalent to today’s minister of state post. Shortl(...)

Members of the old IRA fire volleys at the funeral, in September 1938, of Edward Keegan, an Irish Volunteer who was dismissed from the advertising department of ‘The Irish Times’ for going to fight in the Easter Rising. The paper has bought his 1916 medal to put on permanent display in the foyer. Photograph courtesy of his granddaughter Joan Pinhorn

The IRA, which carried out a series of bombing attacks in England before the opening of the second World War, had been infiltrated by “ultra-conservat(...)

Undated photograph of Éamon de Valera (right) meeting Winston Churchill. Photograph: Royal Irish Academy/PA Wire

Britain handed back the Treaty ports in 1938 based on a false belief that their technological advances would stop German submarines, Seán Lemass belie(...)

From left, Jack Lynch, minister for industry and commerce, Terence O’Neill, prime minister of Northern Ireland, Frank Aiken, minister for external affairs, and taoiseach Seán Lemass at Iveagh House, Dublin, in February 1965. Photograph: Joe Clarke

Ever the pragmatist, Seán Lemass had no objections when the prime minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O’Neill, invited him to travel to a snowy Belf(...)

Sean Lemass and then president Eamon de Valera at the Michael Collins memorial mass in Dublin in June 1969. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

The publication today of excerpts from the interviews with Seán Lemass by Dermot Ryan underlines and enhances the significance of Lemass’s length(...)

The Queen Mother, a noted horse-racing fan, spent years trying to wrangle an invitation to the event. Photograph: Chris Harris/PA

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, a noted horse-racing fan, spent years trying to wrangle an invitation to the Royal Dublin Horse Show, the Lemass re(...)

Taoiseach Sean Lemass,  minister for industry and commerce Jack Lynch and Department of Finance  secretary TK Whitaker leaving for London for a meeting with British prime minister Harold Wilson in November 1964.  Photograph: Jimmy McCormack/The Irish Times

Efforts to get Sir Roger Casement’s remains repatriated to Ireland were frustrated for years by Conservative governments led by Harold Macmillan and A(...)

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 atrocitie(...)

Taoiseach Seán Lemass setting off a charge in a pit face to mark the opening of Tynagh Mines, Co Galway, in November 1963. With him were David Fitzgerald (centre), mine superintendent, and PJ Hughes, chairman, Irish Base Metals Ltd. Photograph: Kevin McMahon

The 1950s was the darkest decade, marked by emigration of nearly 50,000 people a year. One of the great what-ifs of Irish history is what would have h(...)

Seán Lemass: The Lemass tapes will substantially re-shape our knowledge and understanding of Lemass himself, of Fianna Fáil in and out of government, and political history in the four decades after 1932.

Old tapes can throw new light on history. Seán Lemass was a politician who never wrote an autobiography, but he left behind an extraordinary series of(...)

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