Sunday 27 May 2018

Kemmy treasure trove lifts lid on union history

Kathryn Hayes

AN extensive archive documenting the career of the late Labour TD Jim Kemmy has been unveiled at the Special Collections Department at the University of Limerick.

Speaking at the launch of the Jim Kemmy Papers yesterday, Philip O'Regan, Dean of Kemmy Business School, said the collection might be one of the last of its kind, "it being a written record uncontaminated by emails".

"Jim understood the importance of archives, especially in defining the political record. . . He was ahead of his time on archives," Dr O'Regan said.

The collection was launched by Minister of State for the Department of the Environment Jan O'Sullivan, who won the by-election for Jim Kemmy's seat after his death in September 1997 following a short illness.

Ms O'Sullivan was a former colleague of Mr Kemmy's in the Democratic Social Party (DSP), which he established before it merged with the Labour Party in the 1990s.

Well known for his libertarian views, Mr Kemmy stood out for his ideals, particularly in relation to the separation of church and state and family planning.

The Jim Kemmy Papers include reports from the Ancient Guild of Incorporated Brick and Stonelayers' Trade Union; the Construction Industry Federation; the ICTU; and other trade unions.

They also include policy statements, speeches and electoral material.

Irish Independent

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