Albert Reynolds in his own words

Quotes from the political career of the former taoiseach


In his autobiography, Albert Reynolds described himself: “I was a businessman, a risk taker.”

He also wrote: “Although I never kept a diary, I kept in touch with my friends. Some were there in my early years, some were there later and stood by me in government or worked with me during the difficult early days of the peace process.”

Following the joint declaration on Peace in Northern Ireland in December 1993, the former taoiseach said: “I am convinced that nobody should be afraid of peace.”

Describing the agreement of the 1993 Downing Street Declaration in his autobiography, Mr Reynolds wrote: “The British Government is in no sense an enemy to the rights of the Nationalist tradition, and the Irish Government is in no sense an enemy to the rights of the Unionist tradition.”

In his resignation speech in the Dáil in 1994, he said: “Give it as it was; tell it as it is; that is me.”

“I was a risk-taker in politics and in business but I am quite happy that, having taken the risks, the success far outweighs the failures.”

Also during his final speech at the Dáil, Mr Reynolds said: “There’ll be another time when I will set the record straight.”

Speaking to the press corps in the Dáil gallery on the day he resigned, Mr Reynolds said: “You cross the big hurdles, and when you get to the small ones, you get tripped up.”