Seán Lester

Seán Lester

Seán Lester

(28 September 1888 - 13 June 1959)

The Irish Society of International Law dedicates its Annual Lecture to the memory of the late Seán Lester, patriot, journalist, diplomat and statesman. 

Mr Lester served as the last Secretary General of the League of Nations from 31 August 1940 to 18 April 1946.

In its obituary, The Times described Lester as an “international conciliator and courageous friend of refugees”. He was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Prize in 1945 and an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland in 1948.

His papers are available at University College Dublin. Further papers are available at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland (UNOG).

Several biographies of Mr. Lester have been written:

Stephen Ashworth Barcroft: The international civil servant: the League of Nations career of Sean Lester, 1929-1947; Dublin 1973

Douglas Gageby: The last secretary general: Sean Lester and the League of Nations; Dublin 1999; ISBN 1-86059-108-6

Arthur W. Rovine: The first fifty years: the secretary-general in world politics 1920-1970; Leyden 1970; ISBN 90-218-9190-5

Michael Kennedy: Ireland and the League of Nations 1919-1946: politics, diplomacy and international relations; Dublin 1996

Paul McNamara: Sean Lester, Poland and the Nazi Takeover of Danzig; Irish Academic Press Ltd 2008; ISBN 0-7165-2969-6