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Text and Research: Brendan Lynn ... Edited and Compiled: Martin Melaugh
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| Cahill | Callaghan | Campbell | Carron | Channon | Chichester-Clark | Clinton | Cobain | Collins | Cooper, I. | Cooper, R. | Corrigan-Maguire | Cosgrave | Cowan | Craig | Cramphorn | Creasey | Currie | Cushnahan |

Cahill, ('Joe') Joseph (b. 19 May 1920)
Irish Republican Army (IRA); Republican Activist

Joe Cahill became involved with the Republican movement at an early age and joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA). In 1942 Cahill was reprieved, having been sentenced to death along with four others for the killing a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Released from prison in 1949 he was then interned following the resumption of an IRA campaign in 1956. His period of internment ended in 1961 but as with other Republican activists during the rest of the 1960s, he grew increasingly disillusioned with the policies and direction of the then leadership. With the outbreak of widespread civil unrest in Northern Ireland in 1969 Cahill joined in efforts to revive the Republican movement and when it split, he helped to establish the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) in Belfast. It is alleged that he also went onto serve as its Chief of Staff and in 1973 was sentenced to three years by a court in Dublin for attempting to smuggle arms from Libya.

Increasing ill-health saw him released in 1975 and for a time he kept a lower profile whilst beginning to associate himself with Sinn Féin (SF), later serving terms as its General Secretary and Treasurer. As the Republican movement sought to develop its political base in the 1980s he emerged as a key ally of Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and supported the efforts to establish SF as a major electoral force. Thus at the 1986 SF Ard Fheis Cahill gave one of the key addresses as to why the party should abandon its traditional policy of not taking its seats in the Dáil. With developments in the 'Peace Process' in the early 1990s he again came to prominence when he was given a visa to visit the United States of America just before the declaration of an IRA ceasefire in August 1994. Since then he has continued to give his full support to the strategy followed by the SF leadership in terms of backing the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and the subsequent decision by SF to take their seats in a new Northern Ireland Assembly.

Book References:
Anderson, Brendan. (2002), Joe Cahill: A Life in the IRA. Dublin: O'Brien Press.
Bell, J. Bowyer. (1979), The Secret Army: The IRA 1916-1979. New Brunswick: Transaction.
Coogan, Tim. Pat. (1993), The IRA. London: Harper Collins.
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Kelley, Kevin. (1983), The Longest War: Northern Ireland and the IRA. Dingle, Brandon Books.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


Callaghan, ('Jim') Leonard James (Life Peerage 1987) (b. 27 March 1912)
Politician; Labour Party MP; British Home Secretary 1967-1970; British Prime Minister 1976-79

Jim Callaghan was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and began work in 1929 as a tax officer with the Inland Revenue but resigned in 1937 to take up a post as a full-time union official. In 1942 he volunteered for service in the Royal Navy, following in the footsteps of his father who had served as a Chief Petty Office, and later saw action in the Far East, firstly as a ordinary seaman and after promotion as a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Having joined the Labour Party in 1931 he stood as a candidate at the 1945 general election and was elected as member of parliament (MP) for the constituency of South Cardiff (1945-50). He subsequently went onto represent South-East Cardiff (1950-83) and Cardiff South and Penarth (1983-87). His ministerial career began under Clement Atlee in the period 1945-51 when he served in a number of junior positions. When his party went into opposition after losing the general election of 1951, he held a number of positions in the Labour shadow cabinets of the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1963 he unsuccessfully challenged for the leadership of the party. When Labour returned to power in 1964 he was appointed Chancellor of Exchequer (1964-67) but in 1967 after economic problems he resigned and became Home Secretary (1967-70). This department still had responsibility for Northern Ireland but in reality, since devolved power had been transferred to a local parliament in 1921, the Home Office had given little consideration to issues relating to the region.

With the rise of the civil rights movement and growing pressure from some Labour backbench MPs who had come together to form their own pressure group, the Campaign for Democracy in Ulster (CDU), he sought to persuade the Northern Ireland government to speed up its programme of reform. In the absence of these conditions in Northern Ireland quickly began to deteriorate and this was to culminate in serious disturbances in August 1969. As a result on 14 August 1969 Harold Wilson, then Prime Minister, together with Callaghan, took the decision to deploy British troops to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in trying to deal with the situation. This move marked the first real intervention by the authorities at Westminster in the affairs of Northern Ireland since the early 1920s. Given this development Callaghan was anxious to use it to try to ensure that the Northern Ireland government pushed ahead quickly with plans to introduce reforms in areas such as electoral matters, the aalocation of public housing, and local government reform. In addition under his guidance significant changes were made to the nature of policing in Northern Ireland most notably the abolition of the B-Specials. Alongside overseeing these changes Callaghan also had to face a deteriorating security situation given the re-emergence of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Thus as the situation continued to deteriorate he began to consider the possibility of suspending the Stormont Parliament and introducing direct rule from London. However Labour lost the 1970 general election and the problems of dealing with Northern Ireland became the responsibility of the incoming Conservative government.

When Labour returned to power in 1974 he became Foreign Secretary (1974-76)but then in 1976 he succeeded Wilson as Leader of his party and Prime Minister (1976-79). During this time in office he was faced with more pressing domestic economic and social problems and Northern Ireland was not high on his agenda. No new political initiatives were attempted other than to repeat that the long term policy of the Labour Party was to encourage unification by consent. The only real point at which his government provoked controversy came with its decision to increase the number of Northern Ireland Westminster constituencies. Whilst this was welcomed by unionist opinion Northern nationalists were highly critical and saw the move as an attempt to persuade unionists MPs to support what was a minority Labour government.
In 1979 he lost office when Labour were defeated at the general election in May. In 1980 he stepped down as party leader, although he remained an MP until 1987. In 1987 he was given a life peerage and took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Callaghan of Cardiff.

Book References:
Callaghan, James. (1973), A House Divided. London: Collins.
Callaghan, James. (1987), Time and Chance. London:
Donoughue, Bernard. (1987), Prime Minister: The Conduct of Policy under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. London: Cape.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Morgan, Kenneth Owen. (1997), Callaghan: A Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/POLIT/brit/callagha.htm
http://www.britannia.com/gov/primes/prime55.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 7 November 2002]


Campbell, Gregory (b. 15 February 1953)
Politician; Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP 2001-present; Executive Minister July 2000 - November 2001

Gregory Campbell was educated at Derry Technical College, and Magee College in Derry, and later took up a position with the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) (1972-82 and 1986-94). He then left the NICS to become a self-employed businessman in 1994. Having joined the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in the 1970s he was elected as one of the party's representatives on Londonderry City Council in 1977 (1977-84). Campbell campaigned strongly against the decision to change the title of this body in 1984 to 'Derry City Council' but since then has continued to take his seat on it (1984-present). Within the DUP he quickly established himself as one of its most prominent figures. He represented the party in the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86) for the constituency of Londonderry. In 1998 he was elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-present), on this occasion representing East Londonderry. In addition, Campbell has acted as the DUP's spokesman on security since 1994 and was a member of the party's talks team during the political negotiations of 1991-92 and in 1996-97.

Having stood unsuccessfully for election to the Westminster parliament in 1987 and 1992 for the constituency of Foyle, in 1997 he attempted to win the neighbouring seat of East Londonderry but was again defeated. By the time however of the next general election in June 2001 he had consolidated his political base in East Londonderry and subsequently went on to win the seat from the sitting Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) representative, William Ross. In the wake of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in 1998 along with other members of the DUP he was active in campaigning for a 'No' vote during the subsequent referendum of May 1998 on the GFA. Since then Campbell has been closely involved in the DUP's ongoing efforts to oppose the GFA. Nevertheless he went onto hold the post of Minister of Regional Department in the Northern Ireland Executive (July 2000 - November 2001) as part of the DUP's policy of rotating its ministerial appointments between various members of their Assembly party.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.epolitix.com/data/People/39DB2B6FB1141C4286A5FEED636D593C00000001F2F2/Profile.htm
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/gcampbell.htm>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2119726.stm
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=382
http://www.dup.org.uk/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 7 November 2002]


Carron, Owen (b. 1953)
Politician; Republican Activist; Sinn Féin (SF) MP (1981-83)

A native of County Fermanagh Owen Carron pursued a teaching career before becoming involved in Republican politics in the late 1970s by way of his association with the Fermanagh H-Block committee and as a member of Sinn Féin (SF). In April 1981 he acted as the election agent for the hunger striker Bobby Sands at the by-election for the Westminster constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Following the death of Sands Carron was selected as a "proxy political prisoner" candidate at the subsequent by-election in August 1981 and succeeded in becoming the new MP (1981-83). The long-term significance of this result was to provide further evidence of the Republican movement's commitment to engage in a sustained effort to build up its electoral support. For example, although Carron had stated during the campaign that he was standing on an abstentionist ticket, he was also to state that he would act as a full-time constituency MP. At the 1983 Westminster election, due to a split in the nationalist vote, Carron lost the seat but afterwards remained actively involved in SF. Carron was arrested in 1985 on terrorist charges but he was released on bail and unsuccessfully contested in January 1986 the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election. Carron then fled to the Republic of Ireland and succeeded in resisting attempts by the British government to extradite him and bring him before the courts in Northern Ireland.

Book References:
Beresford, David. (1987), Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. London: Grafton.
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


Channon, ('Henry') Paul (Life Peerage 1997) (b. 9 October 1935)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) March-November 1972

Paul; Channon was elected in 1959 as Conservative MP for Southend West (1959-97) he served in a number of junior ministerial positions before being appointed as Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) in March 1972 (March-November 1972). Amongst his responsibilities during this period was to take charge of the departments of Health and Social Services, as well as Education. During this period however Channon came to public prominence when it was disclosed that his house in London had been used as a venue for secret talks in July 1972 between William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and leaders of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). When the Conservative Party returned to power in 1979 he again held a number of junior posts before entering the Cabinet in 1986 as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1986-87), as well as later as Secretary of State for Transport (1987-89). Prior to the 1997 general election Channon announced his decision to stand down as an MP and later in the year was awarded a life peerage.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 25 March 2003]


Chichester-Clark, James Dawson (Life Peerage 1971) (b. 12 February 1923)
Politician; Unionist MP (Stormont); Prime Minister of Northern Ireland April 1969 - March 1971

James Chichester-Clark's formal education began at Selwyn House School in Kent, England and then at Eton. In 1942 he joined the Irish Guards and during the Second World War he saw service in North Africa and Italy where he was wounded in 1944. After the end of the war he remained in the army and in 1960 was promoted to the rank of major in the Irish Guards. In the same year however he chose to retire from military service and returned to manage his family's Moyola estate in South Derry. But the death of his grandmother Dame Debra Parker, the only woman ever appointed to the Northern Ireland cabinet and the sitting MP for the Stormont constituency of South Londonderry, in the summer of 1960 saw him returned unopposed as the new Unionist MP for the seat (1960-72).

In 1963 his ministerial career began under Captain Terence O'Neill, a distant cousin, who appointed him as a junior minister at the Ministry of Finance as well as Chief Whip of the parliamentary party (1963-66). Promotions later followed, firstly as Leader of the Commons (1966-67) and then in 1967 as Minister of Agriculture (1967-69). The position of O'Neill however was becoming increasingly vulnerable during the winter months of 1968-69 in the face of growing criticism from Unionist backbench MPs who opposed concessions to the civil rights movement in addition to their demands for a tougher stance to be taken against such protestors. As O'Neil's position became more difficult Chichester-Clarke began to emerge as possible successor. Then in April 1969 he announced his intention to resign from the government, not in opposition to O'Neill's programme of reform, but at the pace at which it was being done. In particular Chichester-Clarke believed that further concessions at such a juncture would only encourage further instability. His move however weakened O'Neill's position further and the Prime Minister stood down soon after. In the subsequent election, decided by the votes of the Unionist parliamentary party, Chichester-Clarke defeated his main rival, Brian Faulkner, by just one vote to become the fourth Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1969-71).

The situation he faced was extremely difficult with demands from the civil rights movement for the introduction of a thorough package of reforms, matched by growing unease amongst the wider unionist community at the apparent willingness of the government to follow such a path. As conditions deteriorated throughout the summer of 1969 he was forced to ask the British government to send troops to Northern Ireland in order to try to restore stability. The danger for Chichester-Clark in taking such a step lay in the fact that it only weakened his own position and authority as increasingly political and military decisions began to be taken in London and not Belfast. A further package of political reform did little to ease the growing tension in the region and instead conditions worsened as street protests gave way to an upsurge in paramilitary violence. Under pressure from elements within his own party to take a tougher security response against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) which had re-emerged he attempted to persuade the British government to take such steps. When it became clear that such demands would not be met on his terms he resigned as Prime Minister in March 1971. Later in 1971 he was created a life peer and took up his position in the House of Lords as Lord Moyola.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Harbinson, John Fitzsimons. (1973), The Ulster Unionist Party, 1882-1973:Its Development and Organisation. Belfast: Blackstaff Press,
Hennessey, Thomas. (1997), A History of Northern Ireland 1920-1996. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Scoular, Clive William. (2000), James Chichester-Clark: Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Belfast: Clive Scoular.
Web Sources:
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/chichesterclarkjames.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 7 November 2002]


Clinton, ('Bill') William Jefferson (b. 19 August 1946)
Politician; Democratic Party; President of the United States of America 1993-2001

Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas, Clinton went on to become a law graduate of Georgetown University and later a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. He was first elected as Governor of Arkansas in 1978 (1978-80) but two years later in 1980 his bid for re-election was unsuccessful. In spite of this setback he returned as Governor in 1982 in a contest that was to gain him the nickname of the "Comeback Kid" and went on to serve for three more terms (1982-93). It was from this position that Clinton sought in the early 1990s to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 and to the surprise of many commentators he emerged victorious after a somewhat eventful campaign. At the presidential election of November 1992 he again caused a political upset when he comfortably defeated the incumbent Republican candidate, George Bush, to become President (1993-2001).

Clinton had been careful whilst seeking the Democratic nomination to win the support of the powerful Irish-American lobby. Thus in a move which caused alarm in British government circles and amongst unionist opinion he had spoken in favour of sending a presidential peace envoy to Northern Ireland. Although this plan was later shelved Clinton did make it clear that as President he was keen to support ongoing efforts to encourage progress towards a political solution. As a result he gave his backing to the Downing Street Declaration (DSD)of December 1993 and praised the work of all those who had been involved in its production. Whilst publicly supporting the work of the British and Irish governments, at times Clinton's attempts to further the evolving peace process in Northern Ireland also provoked some controversy. In particular he angered the authorities in Britain by granting a visa to Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), in January 1994 to visit America and the furore was repeated in March 1995, following his decision to publicly shake hands with Adams at a function in Washington. Although these actions did cause some short-term difficulties, most notably in his dealings with the British government, Clinton was also careful in other areas to highlight his support for the British approach. For instance, he emphasised the need for paramilitary decommissioning to take place in May 1995 to enable all-party talks to get underway. This was a message he was to repeat frequently during his visit to both parts of Ireland from 30 November to 1 December 1995 . However, during this trip more controversy arose when on a trip to the Falls Road area in Belfast, he shook hands with Gerry Adams.

When the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire broke down in February 1996 he called on all sides to renew their efforts to try to rebuild the peace process. After this was restored in July 1997, Clinton gave his endorsement of the multi-party talks that got underway in September 1997 and was kept informed of their progress by the British and Irish governments. Although anxious not to get directly involved in the negotiations themselves, he did attempt to encourage the participants by urging them to seek compromise on difficult issues. The most obvious example of this came when the negotiations entered what was to be their final stage on the night of 9-10 April 1998. By way of a series of telephone calls to the leading participants, Clinton attempted to persuade them to reach a final settlement. With the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) he gave it his full support and in September 1998 returned to Northern Ireland to congratulate those involved as well as to encourage its complete implementation. When this process began to run into problems he repeated his calls for all sides to work together in order to sort out the outstanding difficulties. These efforts were still underway when Clinton made his final Presidential visit to Ireland in December 2000.

Book References:
Cox, Michael, Guelke, Adrian, Stephen, Fiona. (eds) (2000), A Farewell to Arms? From 'Long War' to Long Peace in Northern Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
De Breadun, Deaglan. (2001), The Far Side of Revenge. Dublin: The Collins Press.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (2000), The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Troubles? London: Gill & Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1170144.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/americas/2001/clinton_legacy/default.stm
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/bc42.html
http://gi.grolier.com/presidents/ea/bios/42pclin.html
http://www.americanpresident.org/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 7 November 2002]


Cobain, ('Fred') Frederick (b. 30 April 1946)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)

Fred Cobain first entered politics in 1985 when he was elected to represent the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) on Belfast City Council (1985-2001) and went onto serve a term as Lord Mayor of the city (1990-91). In June 1998 Cobain became a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the constituency of North Belfast (1998-present). Then with the establishment of the new Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) in November 2001, he became one of the three UUP members appointed to it (2001-present).

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/our%20people/cobain.htm
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/fcobain.htm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/members/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 21 March 2003]


Collins, ('Gerry') James Gerard (b. 16 October 1938)
Politician; Fianna Fáil (FF) TD; Irish Foreign Minister March 1982 - December 1982 and 1989-1992

Gerry Collins first entered politics in 1967 when he succeeded his father, James, as a Fianna Fáil (FF) TD for the constituency of Limerick West (1967-97). His first cabinet post came in 1970 as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (1970-73). In this role he became the first person to issue an order under section 31 of the Broadcasting Authority Act which allowed for the banning of broadcasts judged likely to "promote the cause of organisations committed to violence". When FF returned to power in 1977, Collins became Minister for Justice (1977-81) and as such had to deal with issues directly relating to the troubles in Northern Ireland, such as cross-border security and extradition. Between March and December 1982 as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Collins voiced concern over new proposals from the British government to devolve powers back to Northern Ireland politicians. In particular, he pointed that these lacked any sort of provision for a significant Anglo-Irish dimension or a firm commitment to see the establishment of a form of power-sharing.

In 1987 when FF returned to power, as Minister of Justice (1987-89) he attended on frequent occasions meetings of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) which had been established under the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). At these gatherings Collins was to find himself involved in heated discussions over extradition and security matters which were to cause a great deal of friction between the two governments. In 1989 he was again made Minister of Foreign Affairs (1989-92) and as co-chairman of the AIIC he attempted to establish the framework to allow for the commencement of all-party talks on Northern Ireland. His ministerial career however came to an end in February 1992 when in the wake of renewed in-fighting within FF, he was dropped from the government after Albert Reynolds succeeded Charles Haughey as party leader and Taoiseach. By the time he had announced his decision not to stand for re-election to the Dáil at the 1997 general election, a new political career had begun for Collins. In 1994 he had been elected as a member of the European Parliament for the Munster constituency and in 1998 he went onto become Vice President of the European Parliament. At the election in 1999 Collins was returned for another five year term but in June 2004 lost his seat and announced his retirement from active politics.

Book References:
Collins, Stephen. (2000), The Power Game: Fianna Fáil since Lemass. Dublin: O'Brien.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/collinsgerard.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 7 November 2002]


Cooper, Ivan (b. 1944)
Politician; Civil Rights Activist; Independent MP (Stormont); Northern Ireland Executive Minister January-May 1974; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

Ivan Cooper's first involvement in politics began in the early 1960s when he became a member of the Young Unionist but later he joined the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP). Then with the emergence of the civil rights campaign Cooper became closely associated with it, particularly with the street demonstrations in Derry where he was to become President of the Derry Citizen's Action Committee. Then at the Northern Ireland general election of February 1969 he was elected as an Independent MP for the constituency of Mid Londonderry (1969-70). Along with the efforts of others Cooper worked to try to establish a new united opposition grouping in parliament to oppose the Unionist government. As a result with the formation of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in August 1970 he became one of its founding members as well as serving as one of the party's Stormont MPs (1970-72).

Following the introduction of direct rule in 1972 Cooper was part of the SDLP delegation involved in attempts to restore a new system of government for Northern Ireland. In June 1973 he was returned to the Northern Ireland Assembly for Mid-Ulster (1973-74) and served as head of the Department of Community Relations in the power-sharing Executive (January-May 1974). After the collapse of the Executive and Assembly in May 1974 Cooper participated in the next attempt to find a political solution for Northern Ireland as a member of the Constitutional Convention (1975-76). By the early 1980s Cooper had grown disillusioned with the direction and policy of the SDLP now under the leadership of John Hume, which eventually led to him severing his links with the party and leaving active politics.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McAllister, Ian.(1977), The Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party: Political Opposition in a Divided Society. London: Macmillan.
Murray, Gerard. (1998), John Hume and the SDLP: Impact and Survival in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


Cooper, ('Bob') Robert George (b. 24 June 1936)
Civil Servant; Politician; Northern Ireland Executive Minister January-May 1974

A law graduate of Queen's University Belfast, Bob Cooper, left a job in industrial relations to become the full-time Secretary of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) and later for a time served as its Deputy Leader. Then in June 1973 Cooper was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for the constituency of West Belfast (1973-74). Following the establishment of the Northern Ireland power-sharing Executive in January 1974 he was appointed head of the Department of Manpower Services (January-May 1974). After the collapse of the Assembly and Executive in May 1974 Cooper participated in the next initiative to find a political settlement by way of his election to the Constitutional Convention (1975-6). When this failed he then left active politics to take up the post as head of the Fair Employment Agency (FEA) (1976-90) and continued in this role when the in 1990 the FEA was renamed the Fair Employment Commission (FEC).

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


Corrigan-Maguire, Mairead (formerly Mairead Corrigan) (Nobel Laureate) (b. 27 January 1944)
Peace Activist; Joint Winner of Nobel Peace Prize 1976

Mairead Corrigan came to prominence when, along with Betty Williams, Ciaran McKeown and others, she helped to found the Women's Peace Movement (later renamed the Peace People). The catalyst that led to the formation of this peace movement was an incident in Belfast on 10 August 1976. On that day a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was shot dead, by a British Army mobile patrol, as he drove a car along Finaghy Road North, Belfast. The car then went out of control and ploughed into the Maguire family who were walking on the pavement. Three children were killed as a result of this incident, Joanne Maguire (9), John Maguire (3) and Andrew Maguire (6 weeks) - their mother Anne Maguire was seriously injured. Anne Maguire was Mairead Corrigan's sister. Following the deaths Corrigan helped to organise a series of public rallies across Northern Ireland calling for an end to violence. Initially considerable support was built up but soon problems began to mount as to future policy and strategy. Then further difficulties arose following the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 to Corrigan and Williams, as both had different views as to how the prize money should be spent as well as personal clashes over strategy. Although Williams later left the Peace People, Corrigan remained closely involved in its work and served the organisation in a number of roles. In 1980 Anne Maguire committed suicide and in 1981 Corrigan married her widow, Jackie Maguire. As well as campaigning in Northern Ireland Corrigan has also continued to play a role in international peace movements most notably during the 1991 Gulf war and the 2003 Iraq War.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Fairmichael, Rob. (1987) The Peace People Experience. Belfast: Dawn.
Hennessey, Thomas. (1997), A History of Northern Ireland 1920-1996. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
McKeown, Ciaran. (1984), The Passion of Peace. Belfast: Blackstaff.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


Cosgrave, Liam (b. 13 April 1920)
Politician; Fine Gael (FG) TD; Taoiseach (Prime Minister Republic of Ireland) 1973-1977

The son of the Irish revolutionary and later statesman, William Thomas Cosgrave (1880-1965), Liam Cosgrave first entered politics in 1943 when he was elected as a Fine Gael (FG) TD for the constituency of Dublin County, later known as Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown (1943-81). He served as a junior minister in the inter-party government of 1948-51 and when a FG - Labour Party coalition took office in 1954 he became Minister of External Affairs (1954-57). Then in 1965 Cosgrave succeeded James Dillon as Leader of FG. To some commentators the decision came as surprise, given the fact that a perceived lack of charisma alongside his deeply conservative nature on many social issues, meant he was not always universally popular within the party. In spite of this disadvantage he did manage to take FG back into power at the general election of 1973. This was based on the forging of an electoral pact with Labour to allow for the two to cooperate to such an extent that they could form a new government.

In his role as Taoiseach (1973-77) he had to deal with the ongoing problems of Northern Ireland. In his first year in office he led the Irish delegation at the negotiations with the British government and a number of the Northern Ireland political parties which were to produce the Sunningdale Agreement (1973). In essence this proposed that alongside the recently established power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland a Council of Ireland would be set up to formalise and encourage cooperation between the authorities in Dublin and Belfast. Within six months however, much to his disappointment, the power-sharing executive had collapsed and as a result the proposed Council of Ireland never succeeded in getting beyond the planning stage. At the general election of 1977 the coalition government lost power and Cosgrave decided to resign immediately as leader of FG. In 1981 he announced his retirement from active politics and did not stand at the general election of that year.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Fitzgerald Garret. (1991), All in a Life: An Autobiography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Maye Brian. (1993), Fine Gael 1923-1987. A General History with Biographical Sketches of Leading Members. Dublin: Blackwater.
Web Sources:
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/cosgraveliam.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 7 November 2002]


Cowan, Brian (b. January 1960)
Politician; Fianna Fáil (FF) TD; Irish Foreign Minister January 2000-present

Brian Cowan was educated at Clara National School; Ard Scoil Naomh Chiarain, Clara; Cistercian College, Roscrea; and University College, Dublin, before qualifying as a solicitor. He was first elected as a Fianna Fáil (FF) TD for the constituency of Laois-Offaly at a by-election in June 1984 which had been caused by the death of his father and sitting TD, Bernard Cowan. In 1992 he was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Labour (1992-93) and this was then followed by spells as Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications (1993-1994); and Minister for Health and Children (1997-2000). In these various roles he quickly established himself and the reputation he had developed ensured his promotion in January 2000 to that of Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-present) in the wake of the retirement of David Andrews. Given the responsibilities of this position, Cowan has found himself closely involved in the ongoing efforts of the British and Irish governments along with the some of the political parties in Northern Ireland to have the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) implemented in full.

Web Sources:
http://www.irelandemb.org/press/57.html
http://www.irlgov.ie/iveagh/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 7 November 2002]


Craig, ('Bill') William (b. 2 December 1924)
Politician; Unionist MP (Stormont); Stormont Minister of Home Affairs 1966-1968

Bill Craig entered politics in 1960 when returned as the new Unionist MP for the constituency of Larne in the Stormont parliament(1960-72). Craig soon established himself within the parliamentary party and this then led to a number of ministerial positions as Chief Whip (1962-63), Minister of Home Affairs (1963-64), Minister of Health and Local Government (1964-65), Minister of Development (1965-66), and Minister of Home Affairs (1966-68). It was in this latter role that he provoked some controversy in October 1968 by banning a proposed civil rights march through Derry. When the demonstration went ahead on 5 October the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) broke-up the march using batons and left many people injured including a number of MPs. For many historians and commentators the events of the day marked the beginning of 'the Troubles'.

In the wake of the events in Derry it came as no surprise when Craig was sacked as Minister of Home Affairs by Captain Terence O'Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, in December 1968. For some time relations between the two had been strained over O'Neill's failure, in the view of Craig, to take a tougher line on the civil rights movement as a whole. As a consequence of recent developments the disputes between both men had now become impossible to solve and as a result O'Neill chose to act. On the backbenches Craig became a critic of government policies, not only of O'Neill but those of his successors James Chichester-Clark and Brian Faulkner. In March 1972 following the suspension of Stormont Craig was at the forefront of demonstrations against the introduction of direct rule from Westminster.

To assist with this campaign he went on to form the Ulster Vanguard Movement. This later evolved in 1973 into the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP) and with Craig as its leader the VUPP proposed a policy of independence for Northern Ireland. He was then elected in June 1973 to the Northern Ireland Assembly (1973-74) and for East Belfast (1974-79) in the Westminster general election of February 1974. As a result of his opposition to the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement and the power sharing Executive (January-May 1974) Craig joined with other elements of Loyalist and Unionist opinion in the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC). In addition he was also to play a part in the Ulster Workers' Council (UWC) strike of May 1974 which was to bring down both the Executive and the Assembly. He then led the VUUP into the Constitutional Convention (1975-76) but his subsequent support for the creation of a voluntary coalition of parties, including the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), to administer Northern Ireland was opposed by many of his former allies. As a result the VUPP split and whilst a few supported him the majority of the party left to create their own organisation. By 1978 the VUPP had ceased to exist as a meaningful party although for a time it did it attempt to revert back to its origins as a political pressure group. When this too failed Craig rejoined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and at the 1979 Westminster general election stood for the UUP in East Belfast. His narrow defeat in the contest marked an effective end of his political career although on occasions he has spoken out on political developments in Northern Ireland.

Book References:
Anderson, Don. (1994), 14 May Days: The Inside Story of the Loyalist Strike of 1974. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Harbinson, John Fitzsimons. (1973), The Ulster Unionist Party, 1882-1973:Its Development and Organisation. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (1997), A History of Northern Ireland 1920-1996. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Mulholland, Marc. (2000), Northern Ireland at the Crossroads: Ulster Unionism in the O'Neill Years 1960-9. London: Macmillan.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


Cramphorn, Colin (b. )
Police Officer; (Acting) Chief Constable of the RUC 2002-2002
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Creasey, Timothy (Lieutenant-General) (b.1923)
British Army; General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland 1977-79
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Currie, Austin (b. 11 October 1939)
Politician; Nationalist Party MP (Stormont); Northern Ireland Executive Minister January-May 1974; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

A native of Coalisland, County Tyrone Austin Currie was educated at St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, and Queen's University Belfast. His political career began in 1964 when he was elected as the new Nationalist Party (NP) MP for the constituency of East Tyrone (1964-72). Currie first came to public prominence when he participated in a 'sit-in' in a council house at Caledon, County Tyrone, in 1968. The protest was aimed at drawing attention to allegations of discrimination against Catholic families by Unionist controlled councils. Later in August 1968 he was involved the first civil rights march from Coalisland to Dugannon. Meanwhile his relationship with the NP had become strained over its failure to modernise its structure and image. As a result in the wake of the Stormont election of February 1969 Currie pledged to co-operate with others to create a new united opposition grouping in parliament to oppose the Unionist government. Thus with the establishment of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in August 1970 he became one of its founding members. Later he went onto represent the party for the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the Northern Ireland Assembly (1973-74), the Constitutional Convention (1975-76), and the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86). In addition he served in the power-sharing Executive (January-May 1974) as head of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

At times however he had serious differences with the leadership of the SDLP over its policy and electoral strategy most notably in 1979 and again in 1981. On both occasions the problems lay in the party's attitude to contesting the Westminster parliamentary seat of Fermanagh and South Tyrone. This led him to contesting the seat at the 1979 general election as an Independent SDLP candidate and threatened to stand again at the by-elections of 1981. By the end of the 1980s, with little prospects of any meaningful political breakthrough in Northern Ireland, Currie decided to move to the Republic of Ireland. He then joined Fine Gael (FG) and in 1989 was returned to the Dáil for the constituency of Dublin West (1989-2002). Then in 1990 Currie was the party's unsuccessful nominee in the Presidential election of that year. When FG returned to power as part of a coalition government in 1994 he was then appointed as a junior minister (1994-97). After losing his seat at the 2002 general election he announced his intention to retire from active politics.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McAllister, Ian.(1977), The Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party: Political Opposition in a Divided Society. London: Macmillan.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Murray, Gerard. (1998), John Hume and the SDLP: Impact and Survival in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


Cushnahan, John Walls (b. 23 July 1948)
Politician; Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 1984-87

John Cushnahan was born in Belfast and later graduated from Queen's University Belfast with a degree in Education before going to work as teacher. He joined the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) in the early 1970s and went on to act as its general secretary (1974-82). In addition he was to represent the party on Belfast City Council (1977-85) and in October 1982 was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for the constituency of North Down (1982-86). Then in 1984 Cushnahan succeeded Oliver Napier as leader of the APNI (1984-87) and in this role attempted to strengthen his party's ties with the British Liberals. The biggest test of his leadership however came with the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) and he went on to ensure that the APNI largely supported its implementation. Frustrated with the lack of any immediate indication of devolved powers being returned to Northern Ireland, he then decided to resign as party leader in 1987. In 1989, after having moved to the Republic of Ireland, Cushnahan joined Fine Gael (FG) and succeeded in being elected in 1989 as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the constituency of Munster (1989-2004). He announced early in 2004 his intention to stand down as an MEP.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.europarl.eu.int/home/default_en.htm
http://www.finegael.ie/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 24 March 2003]


Notes:
The information has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources.
The best general sources for additional information are:
  • Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
  • McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
  • Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    For related and background information see also:
  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict
  • The abstracts on prominent organisations
  • The chronology of the conflict

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