Jack Lynch is one of the most important and perhaps most underrated Irish political leaders of the twentieth century.
A sportsman who won six All-Ireland medals in a row with Cork, he was also a civil servant and a barrister before being elected to Dáil Éireann in 1948. During his thirty-one years as a parliamentarian, he held the ministries of Education, Industry and Commerce, and Finance before succeeding Seán Lemass as Taoiseach in 1966. Lynch held office during the critical years of the late 1960s and early 1970s when Northern Ireland disintegrated and civil unrest swept through Belfast, Derry and other towns. This precipitated one of the worst crises in the history of the Irish state.
Jack Lynch upheld the parliamentary democratic tradition at great personal and political cost, even to the point of fracturing the unity of his government and his party. If you want to know what happened during those terrible years, read this book.