Sean was a deep thinker, but was not particularly politically minded. He never voted in his life … the only time he could have voted was in the second Lisbon referendum, but he hadn’t registered. He said he would register in time to vote at the next general election.
At secondary school, history was his favourite subject. Early-twentieth-century Ireland interested him particularly … for his Leaving Cert he did a project on the IRA flying columns of 1919–21.
He admired Michael Collins and knew a lot about de Valera, and, in particular, the Irish Free State’s role in the evolution of the Commonwealth in the 1920s and 1930s (much more than I did, as it has generally been overlooked). He sometimes spoke about this. He didn’t sympathize with the modern ‘Republican Movement’. Continue reading