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News

22
Aug

Seán Lemass Interviews now available in UCD Library

Seán Lemass (1899–1971), was a veteran of the 1916 Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War. He was first elected as a Sinn Féin TD for the Dublin South constituency in a by-election on 18 November 1924. He was returned at each election until the constituency was abolished in 1948 when he was re-elected for Dublin South-Central until his retirement in 1969.

Lemass was a founder-member of Fianna Fáil in 1926, and served as Minister for Industry and Commerce, Minister for Supplies and Tánaiste in successive Fianna Fáil governments. On 23 June 1959, Seán Lemass was appointed Taoiseach, on the nomination of Dáil Éireann.

Lemass is generally considered to be the father of modern Ireland, due to his policies facilitating industrial growth, bringing foreign direct investment into the country, and forging permanent links between Ireland and the European community.

The Lemass Interviews were conducted by retired hotelier Dermot A. Ryan who interviewed Seán Lemass throughout 1967–69, as the basis for a book which was never published. They were deposited in UCD Archives in 2017 and the transcripts are now available to all researchers for the first time.

The interviews, which consist of reel-to-reel tape recordings and typescript transcripts, which are annotated by Lemass himself, are now available to consult at UCD Archives.

More about the collection (UCDA P311) can be found at https://www.ucd.ie/archives/collections/depositedcollections/items/item2title,412010,en.html.