Conor Cruise O'Brien

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Donal Conor Dermod David Donat Cruise O'Brien (3 November 191718 December 2008) was an Irish writer, politician, diplomat, academic and newspaper editor.

  • There were other fellow-sufferers, lower-case ones: the thousands who were either killed, maimed or bereaved by the devotees of the Irish Republic in Mr Sands's organization, the Provisional IRA. Those other dead, however, being the wrong kind, are implicitly excluded from what is seen as a celestial tête-à-tête.
    • Passion & Cunning; Essays on Nationalism, Terrorism and Revolution
  • I expected a lot of negative reactions to my critique of aspects of Irish nationalism, and I got a fiercely negative set of reactions of course from sympathisers with Sinn Féin and the IRA, that is to say, people who are so nationalist they were prepared to kill for nationalist objectives.
    • Conversations With History, April 4, 2000
  • We taught our young people hatred of England. We taught them that the Six Counties were rightfully ours: that is, that they should be ruled by Catholics.
    • Cloch le Carn
  • 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. On that definition Swift is more Irish than Goldsmith or Sheridan, although by the usual tests they are Irish and he is pure English.
    • "Irishness", in New Statesman, January 17, 1959
    • Written under the pseudonym Donat O'Donnell.
  • Of history and its consequences it may be said: "Those who can, gloat; those who can't, brood." Englishmen are born gloaters; Irishmen born brooders.
    • To Katanga and Back: a UN Case History (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962) p. 31
  • Man watches his history on the screen with apathy and an occasional passing flicker of horror or indignation.
    • In Irish Times, Dublin (July 15, 1969) ; as quoted in The Columbia Book of Quotations, ed. Robert Andrews, Columbia University Press (1993), p. 900 : ISBN 0231071949, 9780231071949
  • If I saw Mr. Haughey buried at midnight at a crossroads, with a stake driven through his heart – politically speaking – I should continue to wear a clove of garlic round my neck, just in case.
    • The Observer, October 10, 1982
  • The main thing that endears the United Nations to member governments, and so enables it to survive, is its proven capacity to fail, and to be seen to fail. If there is something you are expected to do, but don't want to do, or even have done for you, you can safely appeal to the UN in the comfortable certainty that it will let you down.
    • New Republic, November 4, 1985

External links[edit]

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