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Stone-mason, trade unionist, politician and historian; Jim Kemmy's 20th anniversary

When: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 13:15

25 September 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of Seamus ‘Jim’ Kemmy (1936-1997). The Glucksman Library holds a substantial collection of Kemmy’s private papers which shed light on his career and concerns as a trade unionist, politician, local councillor and historian.

Kemmy was a socialist politician who began his career in the Labour Party. He later left the party, was elected as an independent TD, and established the Democratic Socialist Party, which eventually merged with the Labour Party in the 1990s. Throughout his career, Kemmy campaigned to bring about social and cultural reform in Limerick, often in direct opposition to the prevailing values of his political party, city and state.

Kemmy died on 25 September 1997 following a short illness. His papers, donated to the University by his family in 2011, provide a range of sources which reflect his involvement with the Democratic Socialist Party and the Labour Party, electoral campaigns and Dáil terms, activities as Alderman and Mayor of Limerick, constituency work, as well as his historical and literary interests. The collection also reveals much about the political and social life of Ireland and Limerick during Kemmy’s lengthy and, at times, controversial political career. The papers are a vital fragment of Limerick’s history and are freely accessible at the Library for the benefit of UL researchers and the general public.

Contact Special Collections and Archives at the University of Limerick on 061 202690 or specoll@ul.ie for enquiries or to make an appointment to view the collection.