In 1977 Seán MacBride was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize. An invitation was extended to the members of the cabinet, including the Minster of Foreign Affairs, to attend the award ceremony on 20 September. This posed the government with a problem. MacBride had been awarded the Nobel Prize in 1974 (pictured below). The Lenin Peace Prize was seen...

This year saw the release of a backlog of files of various kinds going back to the 1920s. Many dealt with dismissals from the public service, the army, the guards, and the civil service generally. Most of these reveal little stories of incompetence and misbehaviour as often as not due to alcohol. These are of little interest to the general...

“Some people seem to like giving interviews.” These were the words typed on a card from the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome. It was sent on January 2, 1986 to Geoffrey Keating, the Irish Chargé d’Affaires in Rome, by Monsignor Diarmuid Martin (as the present Archbishop of Dublin then was).The subject of this comment was...

Over the last 30 years the Islamic presence in Dublin has grown. I wrote about this then about in my book Dublin Churches, for the only mosque on the North Circular Road was making use of a former Presbyterian church. The first Muslim presence was due to Malayan medical students at the College of Surgeons, later followed by Libyan engineers...

When one reads in a newspaper that ‘a source close to the Minister says’, this can be taken to mean that the Minister himself has been speaking to the correspondent ‘off the record’. Such background briefs are better known as ‘ministerial leaks’ and at time they are the cause of much annoyance to the Taoiseach (...

The first manned mission to land on the moon in July 1969 was controlled by a tiny computer. It had approximately 64Kbyte of memory, and was more basic than the electronics in modern toasters that have computer controlled stop/start/defrost buttons. Today electronic media of many kinds and full scale computerisation in all areas of life is...

One of the great disadvantages of achieving high office in Ireland it that it opens a person to all kinds of correspondents, cranks, beggars, and the merely confused. Jack Lynch’s files provide an example. In September 1971 his department received a letter from an Irish-American lady, addressed to “The Honorable John Byrnes, Prime...

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Feature