Two Perspectives on the ‘Cruiser’
Deaglán de Bréadún
Two very different perspectives on Conor Cruise O’Brien, who died last week. Niall Meehan provides a highly-critical analysis. Michael McDowell (not the former minister and PD leader) is much more sympathetic.
Looking back on his career, it is a pity he became a government minister in the communications area (Posts and Telegraphs) between 1973 and ’77. He acquired an authoritiarian image which detracted from his previous reputation as anti-establishment rebel. It was as if Vaclav Havel had taken over in Czechoslovakia and started locking up the old communists.
Had he remained in opposition or just out of office, he could still have pushed his viewpoint that we in the South needed to be more understanding of the unionist position and perspective. The IRA had no mandate or lasting popular support for restarting the Anglo-Irish conflict which had come to an end in 1921.
Will we ever achieve Irish unity and why do we still want it? Richard Humphreys, a Labour Party member like the “Cruiser” has written an interesting book on the subject which was reviewed by yours truly, also in today’s Irish Times. Don’t be put off by the cover which gives an entirely misleading impression of the contents.
Happy Christmas to you all/Nollaig Shona daoibh.
Deaglán de Bréadún, Political Correspondent