Callaghan on Lynch

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, Issue 4 (Jul/Aug 2009), Volume 17

Callaghan leaving 11 Downing Street in March 1966. As chancellor of the exchequer he got to know Jack Lynch, then minister for finance, very well. (Viewimages)

Callaghan leaving 11 Downing Street in March 1966. As chancellor of the exchequer he got to know Jack Lynch, then minister for finance, very well. (Viewimages)

‘I knew Lynch very well because he had been minister for finance when I had been chancellor. For years before I knew him and thought him to be a very sensible man, and when he said he was going to put hospital beds on the borders, I thought “How absurd! What’s gone wrong with you?” And we sent our ambassador to see him and they had a talk. Shortly afterwards, Jack Lynch reversed and he started to row back very gradually indeed. I think he had a rush of blood to the head.’
In the short term, however, the effects within Northern Ireland of Lynch’s broadcast were profoundly destabilising; many working-class Protestants genuinely feared an invasion by the Irish army.

'


Copyright © 2022 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568