Historians tend to paint Lucas as an extreme anti-Catholic bigot, but while his prejudices were certainly present they may have been exaggerated.
His membership of the Dublin Common Council marked his foray into political controversy, beginning with an opposing viewpoint against well-entrenched interests.
He exposed Aldermen who had interfered with electors, and attempted to have them brought before the courts for trial in 1742.
Early Life and Education
Lucas quickly made waves when he began displaying his intricate wire and metal junk sculptures in his yard in Pink Lily. Soon thereafter, professional art dealers took notice and his assemblages began selling to collectors and galleries alike.
Lucas also found time for medical practice and published various works related to hydrotherapy treatments of disease. Furthermore, he joined in the campaign leading up to the 1735 drugs regulation act.
His political views were generally radical. In his writings he advocated a view of Ireland as an independent nation and denied to English parliament the right to make laws for her. Additionally, he supported ‘quarterage’ – an unfair tax levied against Catholics to Protestant-dominated trade guilds.
Lucas had always been an enterprising individual, even after retiring from basketball he continued exploring new ideas and exploring them further. His early fascination with alphabetizing systems and memory games proved useful as he launched several successful businesses.
His first venture was a real estate firm; later he became executive director of an NAACP chapter locally. Additionally, he held many public offices such as serving on the Cleveland Transit System board.
As his life progressed, he focused more and more on professional matters, publishing papers on various subjects (such as spa research). While not wealthy or influential in Dublin politics, his education and writing abilities enabled him to make himself heard through political parties in Dublin.
Achievement and Honors
Lucas received the Army Ordnance Corps’ Distinguished Service Award for exhibiting integrity, moral character and professional competence over time. This marks his first such recognition within military history.
Political pamphlets written on national and local subjects made him one of the best-known Irish authors during his day. So outspoken was his writing that it caused a stir within government circles that it resulted in his imprisonment, yet he managed to flee Europe in 1763 where he continued his political activism by founding Freeman’s Journal as well as researching spa waters on this continent for medicinal use.
He currently sits on the American College of Surgeons Foundation Board of Directors and Trustee of The Duke Endowment; in addition to this he sits on several public and private corporation boards.
Lucas’s art depicts a world that is primarily autobiographical. He draws inspiration from his family history-his father and grandfather were mechanics, while his grandmother made baskets and quilts. Being raised in an automotive family taught Lucas early how to use tools while his great-grandfather taught him metalworking techniques.
He was an ardent Irish patriot and campaigned tirelessly for reform of the penal laws. In addition, he delivered numerous political addresses, criticizing misgovernance.
His physical infirmities, grave and serious appearance and unyielding courage made him stand out wherever he went. He was laid to rest at St Michan’s Churchyard in Dublin with an epitaph reading “Lucas was Hibernia’s dear friend; her powerful bulwark and faithful guide”. He died on April 1, 1771.
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He has served on the boards of several private companies and sits on the Advisory Council at Penn. Furthermore, he has contributed articles to multiple publications as well as presented at conferences about his research.
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