NATION BUILDERS
RTE 1
TX: 08.09.03
Duration: 3 x 45 mins

In a short series on prominent Irish public servants in 20th century Irish history, broadcaster and historian John Bowman tells the life stories of three key figures -

Sean Lester
Last Secretary General of the League of Nations.

In 1933 Irishman Sean Lester was seconded to the League of Nations. His talents as an arbitrator in international conflicts were quickly recognised and the League placed him in Danzig, the flash point of Europe where the League and Nazi Germany clashed. Sean Lester held back the tide of the Nationalist Socialists in Danzig for three hard years. In 1937 he was moved back to Geneva to face his greatest challenge yet. While the world descended in to WWII, Lester was fighting an internal battle to save the future of an institution dedicated to international peacekeeping, the League itself. This remarkable story recounts the career of a Sean Lester and the last years of the League of Nations.

Todd Andrews
Architect of a rural revolution through Bord na Mona.
In 1933, one man was set the impossible task of answering the Turf Question. Twenty five years later, he left behind a monument. He had established an organisation, which employed over 5,000 people. He built 570 houses for workers. Peat was used in power stations to generate electricity and the country had three briquette factories. That 'Nation Builder' was Todd Andrews.

Ken Whitaker
The man who was instrumental in planning Ireland's economy.
Whitaker is best known for his leadership in planning a modernising revolution in Ireland's stagnant economy in the late 1950s. Less well known is his pivotal role in diplomatic relations during Ireland's first attempt to join the European Union and in Anglo Irish trade affairs. He was also deeply influential in advising Jack Lynch on policy on Northern Ireland. And even in retirement he has continued his contribution to initiatives as diverse as prison reform, scientific research and a constitutional review.

Produced in association with the ESB 75th Anniversary Committee.


Nation Builders Sean Lester

Todd Andrews
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Ken Whitaker
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