The Irish Times published in its 2 June edition a four page pull out of extracts from an extensive set of tapes containing interviews of Sean Lemass. The tapes appear to have been made as a form of memoir - "The transcribed tapes are an extraordinary political testament, all the more remarkable for not having been written by Lemass himself, but recorded by one of his political admirers, the late hotelier and businessman Dermot Ryan".

Headlines in the pullout include " A policy of expansion that helped to save Ireland" - end of protectionism: "Ireland's attititude to EEC and military alliances" - militarisation inevitable and necessary: "Sinn Fein obsession with dismantling Treaty led to birth of Fianna Fail" - Ernest Blythe would have supported an army coup against FF in 1932, Cosgrave did not: "IRA infiltrated by British secret service, Lemass said" - 1939 bombing campaign was the "most disastrous thing that could have happened" and so contrary to Irish interests that it could only have been the work of British agents. No doubt he would have said the same about more recent bombing campaigns, very likely with reason.

Has anyone else here been reading this ? I'm unclear as to whether a full transcript if available from UCD online, and will look into it next week.

The tapes seem to be politically frank and explosive.