Conor Cruise O'Brien

[The Cruiser]

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Conor Cruise O'Brien (3 November 1917 – 18 December 2008) often nicknamed "The Cruiser", was an Irish politician, writer, historian and academic. Although his opinion on the role of Britain in Northern Ireland changed over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, he always acknowledged values of, as he saw, the two irreconcilable traditions. O'Brien's outlook was radical, yet the positions he ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Irishness is not primarily a question of birth or blood or language; it is the condition of being involved in the Irish situation, and usually of being mauled by it.''
    Conor Cruise O'Brien (b. 1917), Irish historian, critic, diplomat. "Irishness," New Statesman (London, Jan. 1959).
  • The United Nations cannot do anything, and never could; it is not an animate entity or agent. It is a place, a stage, a forum and a shrine ... a place to which powerful people can repair when they are...
    Conor Cruise O'Brien (b. 1917), Irish historian, critic, diplomat. New Republic (Washington, D.C., Nov. 4, 1985).
  • ''Man watches his history on the screen with apathy and an occasional passing flicker of horror or indignation.''
    Conor Cruise O'Brien (b. 1917), Irish historian, critic, diplomat. Quoted in Irish Times (Dublin, July 16, 1969).
  • ''Nothing does more to activate Christian divisions than talk about Christian unity.''
    Conor Cruise O'Brien (b. 1917), Irish diplomat, writer. Times (London, Oct. 3, 1989).
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