The Lemass tapes

Eoin Coir

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I wonder what do people think of the Lemass tapes published by the Irish Times over the weekend.Most unusually they were done by well known FF supporter and hotelier ,one Dermot Ryan. Lemass did some good no doubt, but he promoted his son in law Haughey,saying he hoped CJ would not take it -obviously Lemass knew what he was like.The big man behind him was Ken Whitaker who saw that Ireland needed to open up to the world in order to survive.
Lemass was loyal to Dev for too long,he should have moved against him after the war, Ireland might have been a different country if he did.

He also tolerated wild men in FF apart from the crook Haughey.
 


Ardillaun

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I wonder what do people think of the Lemass tapes published by the Irish Times over the weekend.Most unusually they were done by well known FF supporter and hotelier ,one Dermot Ryan. Lemass did some good no doubt, but he promoted his son in law Haughey,saying he hoped CJ would not take it -obviously Lemass knew what he was like.The big man behind him was Ken Whitaker who saw that Ireland needed to open up to the world in order to survive.
Lemass was loyal to Dev for too long,he should have moved against him after the war, Ireland might have been a different country if he did.

He also tolerated wild men in FF apart from the crook Haughey.
When the evidence accumulated against his position he changed it. That’s what you want to see. Lemass was in a different league from the rest of our leaders.
 

blinding

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Was / Is Lemass the greatest Taoiseach we have ever had ?

Obviously the competition isn’t up to much .

A bit before my time but he seems to be well thought of especially in comparison to others .

Its never really been cleared up why he stepped down a bit unexpectedly either .
 

Roberto Jordan

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Was / Is Lemass the greatest Taoiseach we have ever had ?

Obviously the competition isn’t up to much .

A bit before my time but he seems to be well thought of especially in comparison to others .

Its never really been cleared up why he stepped down a bit unexpectedly either .
He was dead in little more than 4 1/2 years after he stepped down, had been politically active one way or another for 50 years.......Granted the life and work of any white collar managerial types , even in the knockabout world of politics, was in no way as all consuming as today, meals were generally ate at a table at set hours, as a small example - but its a long time

( and , different topic, I am not convinced the work of "de cabinet" today is in fact as all consuming , productive or real as they make out either.... would be interested how many of them would swim in director or VP roles in MNCs with shared admins, dispersed teams, expectations to occasionally write reports themselves etc...)
 

Roberto Jordan

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I wonder what do people think of the Lemass tapes published by the Irish Times over the weekend.Most unusually they were done by well known FF supporter and hotelier ,one Dermot Ryan. Lemass did some good no doubt, but he promoted his son in law Haughey,saying he hoped CJ would not take it -obviously Lemass knew what he was like.The big man behind him was Ken Whitaker who saw that Ireland needed to open up to the world in order to survive.
Lemass was loyal to Dev for too long,he should have moved against him after the war, Ireland might have been a different country if he did.

He also tolerated wild men in FF apart from the crook Haughey.
Lemass has been at the vangaurd of the development of a domestic economy, with the support of tarrifs in the 30's.

But I would not hold it against him , or others.

Protectionism was de rigeur globally in the 30's even among "trading nations" , as was free trade in the 50's/ 60's....

So lemass , and ireland more generally, followed the winds of global economic thought and action.

There is a counter factual narrative that proclaims Develra arrived from on high in the 30's and shut the ports, wrecked the economy with lemas doing the oposite in the 50's.

It is a nonsense that originally started among those who stood to lose most by the threat of the economic war to irelands beef exports to britain , which had been given "most favored status" in our economic policies since the armies of wellington first started buying cattle despite the fact it had done little or nothing for the development of the wider economy.

Such types ignore the reality that when the supposed unforgivable and avoidable direction of the irish economy in the 30's was happening, including the massive investment in state supported capacity( See FDR as a more global exponent of same.....) British working men were doing things like marching from Jarrow to London to protest unemployment & hunger.

But it was those damn red socialist gunmen that did it. the same reds who have now been transmogrified into Holy roman proponents of RC hegemony over the irish state by the descendants of the people who originated the myths above.

On the topic....the great man theory of history is bunk ....there are no great men or great leaders only better and worse ones and they all had good days & bad, strengths & weaknesses......but those who worship at the altar or icons be it dev or collins, JFk or Ike dont get this.
 

Eoin Coir

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Things were quiet when Lemass was Taoiseach. I read once that his wife took him his breakfast at 8.30 am each morning with the papers. After that he got up went to work, came home for lunch 1-2 pm, and was finished at 5pm each day.Leaders all work much harder now.

But I cant help thinking how this supposed great man tolerated Dev frugal Ireland for so long. Only that Ken Whitaker came and bluntly told them the state was dying did they waken up.
 

artfoley56

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I wonder what do people think of the Lemass tapes published by the Irish Times over the weekend.Most unusually they were done by well known FF supporter and hotelier ,one Dermot Ryan. Lemass did some good no doubt, but he promoted his son in law Haughey,saying he hoped CJ would not take it -obviously Lemass knew what he was like.The big man behind him was Ken Whitaker who saw that Ireland needed to open up to the world in order to survive.
Lemass was loyal to Dev for too long,he should have moved against him after the war, Ireland might have been a different country if he did.

He also tolerated wild men in FF apart from the crook Haughey.
bit cheeky of the times to put them behind a paywall
 

cricket

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Was hoping they might have shred light on his support for Jack Lynch to succeed him, as against the son-in-law, Haughey.
 

redneck

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I was not around when Lemass was Taoiseach. But he always struck me as being a "cute hoor" FF type. He might have done ok on the local Dublin economy. But he completely failed the Nationalists in the North. His government should also have removed Nelson's pillar. But he abdicated this responsibility and we got the Troubles in the North.
 

redneck

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Things were quiet when Lemass was Taoiseach. I read once that his wife took him his breakfast at 8.30 am each morning with the papers. After that he got up went to work, came home for lunch 1-2 pm, and was finished at 5pm each day.Leaders all work much harder now.

But I cant help thinking how this supposed great man tolerated Dev frugal Ireland for so long. Only that Ken Whitaker came and bluntly told them the state was dying did they waken up.
There was nothing wrong with Dev's idea of self sufficency. Look across the sea to the UK and America. They have nearly always tried to be self sufficent.
 

Roberto Jordan

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Things were quiet when Lemass was Taoiseach. I read once that his wife took him his breakfast at 8.30 am each morning with the papers. After that he got up went to work, came home for lunch 1-2 pm, and was finished at 5pm each day.Leaders all work much harder now.

But I cant help thinking how this supposed great man tolerated Dev frugal Ireland for so long. Only that Ken Whitaker came and bluntly told them the state was dying did they waken up.
"frugal" ireland was simply the local version of the global shift to protected domestic economies in the 30's......lemass was a proponent of protectionism at the time.
And right up to the 50's most of europe was frugal due to the above brought on by the depression, then the war and then reconstruction when even with the marshall plan people were still scrambling for food and resources...

On working hours, yes its a changed world for white collars at all levels and in all sectors. kind of an inverted version of what happened with blue collar roles in the early part of last century. Management positions are now full time, all time in many organizations and at all levels. I envy those who can actually go on vacation and "switch off"......hence I love christmas as globally, even in our mid east offices ,the work stops ....which means the emails do to...
 

PAGE61

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Wasn't Lemass a known gambler who lost significant sums throughout his life
 

wombat

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But I cant help thinking how this supposed great man tolerated Dev frugal Ireland for so long. Only that Ken Whitaker came and bluntly told them the state was dying did they waken up.
The evidence does not support that idea. The whole drive to setup the semi state sector in the 30's was an attempt to industrialise the country and was a reaction to the failure of the Irish wealthy class to invest in industry. Land and property was the obsession then as now. There was also the small matter of the Emergency which distracted attention from other matters. Regarding DeV, he was the outstanding figure from 1916 onwards, he was the unquestioned leader before the civil war and remained the leader of half the population. Remember, he was far better educated than any of his rivals or supporters (I think McEntee was an engineer) and they, including Lemass were in awe of him.
 

wombat

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I was not around when Lemass was Taoiseach. But he always struck me as being a "cute hoor" FF type. He might have done ok on the local Dublin economy. But he completely failed the Nationalists in the North. His government should also have removed Nelson's pillar. But he abdicated this responsibility and we got the Troubles in the North.
That post is not a great advertisement for the teaching of history in our schools.:lol:
 

Eoin Coir

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Wasn't Lemass a known gambler who lost significant sums throughout his life
there were rumours he was a kept man,as pols were not paid that well at the time. Some suggestion businessmen looked after him well and that was where his son in law Haughey picked it up from
 

redneck

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That post is not a great advertisement for the teaching of history in our schools.:lol:
It was Lemass who was in charge in 1966. He was the Taoiseach.
 

PAGE61

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there were rumours he was a kept man,as pols were not paid that well at the time. Some suggestion businessmen looked after him well and that was where his son in law Haughey picked it up from
I remember an old timer telling me that he lost his property in Capel street due to gambling and he ended up in hock several times
 


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