Making his points: Kemmy’s private letters ... and the ones locked away

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

He 'ain't heavy: The late Limerick TD and mayor Jim Kemmy pictured at a slim-in in the city. He lost five stone with the help of Weight Watchers, according to the papers donated to UL
THE PRIVATE letters of Jim Kemmy, which have been seen exclusively by the Limerick Leader, reveal the crushing disappointment of the throes of politics, especially in the final years in his life.

THE PRIVATE letters of Jim Kemmy, which have been seen exclusively by the Limerick Leader, reveal the crushing disappointment of the throes of politics, especially in the final years in his life.

Thousands of documents from his long running political career have been donated to the University of Limerick for archive - just ahead of the 16th anniversary of his death next week.

Letters between the TD and Labour party leader Dick Spring in 1993 - after there was disappointment Kemmy didn’t receive a ministerial role - reveal his frustrations with the party leader.

“The process of the formation of this Government,” he wrote, “served to further my political education. I learnt a good deal from the artistry in which my name was dangled before the media prior to the formation of the Government.

“Clearly, the skills of P.J. Mara are still alive and well and living in Leinster House. Good luck to you and your Labour colleagues in Government – you will most certainly need it.”

In a letter to a Limerick supporter at the time, Kemmy wrote: “I am 30 years in politics and I am well used to the hard knocks in political life. There is little point in crying over spilt milk and I have wasted little time in licking my wounds.”

The papers also reveal the anger of the public when he brought down the Government in 1982.

See the print edition of the newspaper for full analysis of the Kemmy Archives.