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‘Terrible things were done’: Sean Lemass and the Violence of the Irish Revolution

March 10 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am


Online via Zoom • 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Presenter: Robert Savage

Ireland today is exploring the 100th anniversary of the Irish Revolution, a period that stretched from 1912 to 1922. Professor Savage will address the legacy of one of the most important yet unheralded revolutionaries, Sean Lemass.

Lemass served as Prime Minister from 1959-1966. He is often seen as a colorless technocrat, obsessed with economic issues. He earned a reputation as the individual most responsible for overseeing the economic transformation of Ireland into a modern European nation.

Savage will consider how the violence of the Irish revolution influenced Lemass’ thinking about the need for reconciliation throughout Ireland. His first-hand experience of death and destruction during the Irish Revolution shaped many of the more progressive policies he pursued during a long and distinguished political career.


Part of the BC Beyond Lifelong Learning Coffee and Conversation Series


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Spring 2021 Series
All lectures will be offered on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. ET.

  • January 20: Preview of Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s – Nancy Netzer, Director, McMullen Museum of Art and Professor of Art History, and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Visiting Professor
  • February 3: You, The Effective Knowledge Professional: Innovation and the Hunt for Ideas – Andy Boynton, Dean, Carroll School of Management
  • February 17: Racial Justice, Antiracism, and the Boston College Forum for Racial Justice in America – Vincent Rougeau, Dean, Law School
  • March 10: ‘Terrible things were done’: Sean Lemass and the Violence of the Irish Revolution – Robert Savage, Director, Irish Studies Program and Professor of History
  • March 24: Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Challenge and What to Do About It – Andrew Eschtruth, Associate Director, Center for Retirement Research
  • March 31: Rediscovering the Treasures of Golden Age Spanish Cathedral Music – Michael Noone, Professor and Chair, Music Department
  • April 14: Working for the Common Good: The Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society – Laura Steinberg, Executive Director, Schiller Institute
  • April 28: What Can Literature Teach Us About Pandemics? – Amy Boesky, Professor and Chair, English Department
This series has a maximum capacity to allow for participant engagement and to ensure the best possible experience.
Register early to avoid disappointment!
Please Note:
Online participants will need a computer with video, microphone, and speakers. Participants must create a Zoom account in advance according to Boston College security requirements; more information will be provided upon registration.


March 10
10:00 am - 11:30 am
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