O'Brien, Conor Cruise

O'Brien, Conor Cruise

(Donal Conor Cruise O'Brien), 1917–2008, Irish author, diplomat, and politician. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he entered the department of external affairs of Ireland in 1944 and served as a counselor in Paris (1955–56) and as a member of the Irish delegation to the United Nations (1956–60). He left the diplomatic service after representing (1961) the UN secretary-general in KatangaKatanga
, former province, c.200,000 sq mi (518,000 sq km), SE Congo (Kinshasa); called Shaba from 1971 to 1997. Katanga bordered Angola on the southwest, Zambia on the southeast, and Lake Tanganyika on the east. The capital and chief city was Lubumbashi.
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 in the Congo and was vice chancellor of the Univ. of Ghana (1962–65) and a professor at New York Univ. (1965–69); he also was pro-chancellor of the Univ. of Dublin (1972–94). In 1969 he entered the Irish parliament, the Dáil, and joined the government in 1973 as minister of posts and telegraphs, but he was defeated in 1977 because of his opposition to 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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 and the Irish Republic's constitutional claim to Northern Ireland. He was an Irish senator from 1977 to 1979. A severe critic of the dangers of extreme nationalism in his homeland and elsewhere, he served as editor in chief of the Observer (1979–81). Among his books are Parnell and His Party, 1880–1890 (1957), To Katanga and Back (1962), Writers and Politics (1965), Power and Consciousness (1969), States of Ireland (1972), The Siege (1986), God Land (1988), and On the Eve of the Millennium (1995). O'Brien wrote insightfully on Edmund BurkeBurke, Edmund,
1729–97, British political writer and statesman, b. Dublin, Ireland. Early Writings

After graduating (1748) from Trinity College, Dublin, he began the study of law in London but abandoned it to devote himself to writing.
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 in several works, at greatest length in The Great Melody (1992).

Bibliography

See his memoir (1998); biography by D. H. Akenson (1994); study by D. R. O. Lysaght (1977).

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