Conor Cruise O'Brien

[The Cruiser]

Biography of Conor Cruise O'Brien

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 took were not orthodox; he was interested in the progress of South Africa, and in later years took a pro-Israel stance. He summarised his position as "I intend to administer a shock to the Irish psyche".

O'Brien began his career as a civil servant working on the government's anti-partition campaign. At the 1969 general election, he was elected to Ireland's parliament as a Labour Party TD for Dublin North–East becoming a Minister from 1973–77. He was also the Labour Party's Northern Ireland spokesman during those years. He was later known primarily as a journalist and leading columnist in the Irish Independent.

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