Macbride, Sean

MacBride, Seán,

1904–1988, Irish statesman, b. Paris. The son of Irish patriot-actress Maude Gonne and revolutionary Major John MacBride, he moved to Ireland after his father was executed as a leader of the Easter Rebellion (1916). A year later, at 13, he joined the Irish Republican ArmyIrish Republican Army
(IRA), nationalist organization devoted to the integration of Ireland as a complete and independent unit. Organized by Michael Collins from remnants of rebel units dispersed after the Easter Rebellion in 1916 (see Ireland), it was composed of the more
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 (IRA), became its commander at 24, and was active in it for two decades. He also worked as a journalist, earned a law degree, and founded (1936) the nationalist Republican party. After World War II he was a member (1947–58) of the Irish parliament and served as foreign minister (1948–51). From the mid-20th cent. on, MacBride devoted himself to the cause of international human rights. As president of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Council of EuropeCouncil of Europe,
international organization founded in 1949 to promote greater unity within Europe and to safeguard its political and cultural heritage by promoting human rights and democracy. The council is headquartered in Strasbourg, France.
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, he was a key player in the writing and adopting of the European Convention on Human Rights (1950). A founder and chairman (1961–74) of Amnesty InternationalAmnesty International
(AI,) human-rights organization founded in 1961 by Englishman Peter Benenson; it campaigns internationally against the detention of prisoners of conscience, for the fair trial of political prisoners, to abolish the death penalty and torture of prisoners,
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, he also was active with the International Peace BureauInternational Peace Bureau
(IPB), organization est. 1891 in Bern, Switerland, by Fredrik Bajer and other members of the third World Peace Congress. Dedicated to promoting world peace, it brought together various European pacifist groups and coordinated their activities.
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, the World Federation of United Nations Associations, and other human-rights groups and served (1973–77) as assistant secretary-general of the UN and commissioner for Namibia. In recognition of his humanitarian work he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974.


See his memoir (2005, ed. by C. Lawlor); biography by A. J. Jordan (1993); E. Keane, Irish Statesman and Revolutionary: The Nationalist and Internationalist Politics of Seán MacBride (2006).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Macbride, Sean


Born Jan. 27, 1904, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Irish political and public figure; a lawyer by education.

A participant in Ireland’s struggle for independence, MacBride was subjected to persecution by the British authorities. In the 1920’s he was one of the leaders of the Irish Republican Army. During the 1930’s and 1940’s he worked as a journalist and then practiced law. MacBride founded the Republican Party (Clann na Poblachta) in 1936. A republican member of the Irish Parliament from 1947 to 1958, he served as minister of external affairs of the Republic of Ireland from 1948 to 1951.

MacBride has held key posts in numerous international organizations. He helped organize, and took part in, the World Congress of Peace-loving Forces, held in Moscow in 1973, and the World Forum of Peace-loving Forces, held in Moscow in 1977.

MacBride received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974 and the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations in 1976.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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