CAIN Web Service

Biographies of Prominent People - 'D'



[CAIN_Home]
[Key_Events] [Key_Issues] [CONFLICT_BACKGROUND]
BACKGROUND: [Acronyms] [Glossary] [NI Society] [Articles] [Chronologies] [PEOPLE] [Organisations] [CAIN_Bibliography] [Other_Bibliographies] [Research] [Photographs] [Symbols] [Murals] [Posters] [Maps] [Internet]

Text and Research: Brendan Lynn ... Edited and Compiled: Martin Melaugh
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

[Menu] [Search] [Name_List] [Role_List] [Sources]
Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

| Daly | De Brún | De Chastelain | Devlin, B. | Devlin, P. | Dodds | Doherty | Donaldson | Drumm | Durkan |

Daly, Edward (b. December 1933)
Catholic Bishop of Derry (1974-93); Witness to events on Bloody Sunday

A native of Belleek, County Fermanagh Edward Daly was educated at a local primary school before attending St Columb's College, Derry and the Irish College in Rome where he studied for the priesthood. In 1962 he was appointed to the position of curate in St Eugene's Cathedral, Derry and his experiences in the parish prompted him to become involved in the growing civil rights campaign of the late 1960s. As the situation in the city deteriorated, Daly also had to deal with the early years of the troubles. On 30 January 1972 (Bloody Sunday) he was in the Bogside and was photographed escorting a group of people carrying the body of one of those shot through British Army lines. In 1974 he was made Bishop of Derry and served in that role until his retirement in 1993.

Book References:
Daly, Edward. (2000), Mister, Are You A Priest? Dublin: Four Courts Press.
Web Sources:
/events/bsunday/bs.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 13 November 2002]


De Brún, Bairbre (b. 1958)
Politician; Sinn Féin (SF) MLA; MEP 2004-present; Executive Minister November 1999 - October 2002;

Bairbre de Brún was born in Dublin and educated at University College Dublin where she attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Modern Languages and then a Higher Diploma in Education. Later she also studied at Queen's University Belfast where she qualified with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education before pursuing a career as a language teacher. De Brún first became involved in politics through the campaign to support the Republican hunger strikes of the early 1980s and she participated in the work of the National H-Blocks / Armagh Committee. In 1982 de Brún became a member of Sinn Féin (SF) and later joined its ruling executive, the Ard Chomairle, on which she continues to sit. During this time she has also held a number of important positions including those on its international committee and cultural section.

During the multi-party talks, which were to culminate with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998, she was a member of the SF negotiating team having been elected to the Northern Ireland Forum in May 1996 for the constituency of West Belfast (1996-98). During this period De Brún also acted as the party's spokesperson on policing and justice. In June 1998 de Brún was elected as a one of SF's representative to the new Northern Ireland Assembly for the constituency of West Belfast (1998-present). Her ability and reputation within the party was sufficient to see her put forward as one of its two nominees for positions on the Northern Ireland Executive. As a result in November 1999 she became Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety and served in this position until the suspension of the institutions of the GFA in October 2002. Early in 2004 De Brún won the nomination to be her party's candidate for the constituency of Northern Ireland in the election to the European parliament. In the subsequent election she was elected on the first count.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/bdebrun.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/340182.stm
/issues/politics/departments/ministers.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 13 November 2002]


De Chastelain, John (General) (b. )
Canadian General; Chairman of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) 1998-present

John de Chastelain was born in Romania, the son of a Scottish oil engineer and an American-born mother and educated in Scotland before emigrating with his parents to Canada at the age of eighteen. There his education continued at the Canadian Royal Military College and after graduating he continued in military service rising through the ranks to reach that of general. Then in 1993 de Chastelain was appointed Canada's ambassador to the United States (1993-94) and in 1994 returned to the country when he was made Chief of the Defence Staff (1994-95). His reputation later survived major criticism of his handling of the Canadian Army's involvement in peace keeping efforts in Somalia in the early 1990s.

In late 1995 he was invited by the British and Irish governments along with former US Senator George Mitchell, and former Finnish Prime Minister Harri Hokeri, to become involved in the 'Peace Process' in Northern Ireland. The three men were asked to address the question of the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons which had caused an impasse in the efforts to allow for the calling of all-party talks to discuss future political developments. The International Body on Arms on which the three men sat arrived in the region in December 1995 and soon became known as the 'Mitchell Commission'. In January 1996 its report was published and recommended that political talks and decommissioning should occur simultaneously. In addition they also proposed a range of other confidence-building bodies in order to encourage the early commencement of negotiations.

Following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998 de Chasterlain was invited to remain as chairman of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). In this role in May 1998 he produced a list of recommendations as how decommissioning could be achieved and in December 1998 administered the first act under these which was carried out by the small, fringe loyalist group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF). However, with the failure of the main republican and loyalist paramilitary groups to address the question in the face of the political stalemate over the full implementation of the GFA no other significant event was to occur for some time. As a result de Chastelain had little progress to report as the deadline for complete decommissioning approached in May 2000. However his remit was then extended by the British and Irish government as a breakthrough in the political negotiations allowed the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to begin to fully engage with the IICD. This led to the IICD issuing reports in June 2000 and October 2000 that two international inspectors had inspected PIRA arms dumps. In August 2001 he confirmed that a method of putting arms 'completely' and 'verifiably' beyond use had been agreed between the IICD and the IRA. De Chastelain announced that the IICD had witnessed two separate acts of decommissioning by the IRA in October 2001 and April 2002. Since then however further political stalemate has again resulted in the role of the IICD being sidelined and in October 2002 the IRA declared that it was breaking off contacts with de Chastelain.

Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding/profiles/john_de_chastelain.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1478004.stm
http://www.nio.gov.uk/issues/decomm.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 13 November 2002]


Devlin, Bernadette
[See entry for: McAliskey, Bernadette ]


Devlin, ('Paddy') Patrick Joseph (b. 8 March 1925)
Politician; MP (Stormont); Northern Ireland Executive January-May 1974; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP); Trade Unionist

Paddy Devlin was born in Belfast and at an early age became involved in the Republican movement eventually becoming a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). This then led to him being interned (1942-45) by the Northern Ireland authorities during the Second World War. Following his release Devlin severed his ties with the Republican movement and during the 1950s was closely associated with trade union activity as well as with Labour politics in Belfast. Having joined the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP) he was then elected in 1969 to the Northern Ireland Parliament for the constituency of Falls (1969-70). Devlin was also took part in the civil rights movement and became a prominent figure when having to deal with the growing unrest in the Falls Road area during the summer of 1969.

In August 1970 he was one of the founding members of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and took his seat in Stormont as one of its representatives (1970-72). Later Devlin was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1973 (1973-74) and when in January 1974 the SDLP entered the power sharing Executive, Devlin became head of the Department of Health and Social Services (January-May 1974). A year later in May 1975 he was returned to the Constitutional Convention (1975-76) but after its failure his relationship with the SDLP began to deteriorate. In particular he accused the party of increasingly abandoning its commitment to follow 'socialist' policies as well as its determination to ensure that any future political settlement in Northern Ireland had a major input from the Irish government. Finally in 1979 Devlin left the SDLP but for a time remained actively involved in politics by way of his work with the trade union and labour movement. By the early 1980s however his growing condemnation of the Republican movement led to frequent threats and intimidation against him and his family. In addition the growing electoral strength of Sinn Féin (SF) saw Devlin lose his seat as a councillor on Belfast City Council (1956-58 and 1973-85).

Book References:
Devlin, Paddy. (1993), Straight Left: An Autobiography. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
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.
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 - 30 March 2003]


Dodds, Nigel Alexander (b. 20 August 1958)
Politician; Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP 2001-present; Executive Minister November 1999 - July 2000 and November 2001 - October 2002

Nigel Dodds was born in Londonderry and educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, St John's College, Cambridge University, and the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queens University Belfast. In addition to his legal career as a barrister, Dodds joined the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and served as European Parliamentary Assistant to Ian Paisley, then leader of the DUP, and Member of the European Parliament (MEP), as well as holding the position of Party Secretary (1993-present). In 1985 Dodds was elected to Belfast City Council (1985-present) and later on two occasions, in 1988-89 and 1991-92, held the office of Lord Mayor of the city. At the Westminster general election of April 1992 he unsuccessfully stood for the DUP in the constituency of East Antrim but succeeded in being returned as a member of the Northern Ireland Forum (1996-98) and Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-present) for North Belfast.

Although he had developed a strong political base within North Belfast, Dodds was not nominated by his party to contest the parliamentary seat at the 1997 Westminster election so as to avoid splitting the unionist vote. In June 2001 however this consideration was abandoned given the fact that the DUP was by now engaged in a bitter contest with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). As a result Dodds was not only to contest the seat but went onto soundly defeat the sitting UUP member, Cecil Walker. During the period 1996-97 he also acted as one of the DUP's negotiating team in the multi-party talks and with the rest of his party colleagues vigorously campaigned for a 'No' vote during the referendum on the GFA. This opposition to the GFA by the DUP has been maintained and he has often been at the forefront of such efforts. Furthermore as part of the DUP's policy of rotating their appointments to the Northern Ireland Executive between various members of their Assembly party, Dodds has twice served as Minister for Social Development (November 1999-July 2000 and November 2001-October 2002).

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/biography/0,9312,-1419,00.html
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/ndodds.htm
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=04
http://www.dup.org.uk/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 13 November 2002]


Doherty, ('Pat') Patrick (b. 18 July 1945)
Politician; Sinn Féin (SF) MP 2001-present

Pat Doherty was born and educated in Glasgow where his parents had migrated to from Donegal in search of work. After working as a site engineer, Doherty returned to Ireland in 1968 and soon became involved in the republican movement. This has frequently led to allegations, which he has always denied, that he was an important member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and at times has served on its ruling body, the Army Council. For some commentators these suggestions have been strengthened by the fact that in the early 1970s his brother, Hugh, was arrested and subsequently jailed, along with a number of other men, for a series of attacks in London. Notwithstanding these claims Pat Doherty was to join Sinn Féin (SF) and by 1979 was elected to its national executive the Ard Comhairle (1979-present). Since then he has gone on to hold a number of senior positions within SF including those of Director of Elections (1984-1985), National Organiser (1985-6), Vice-President of the party (1988- present) and leader of the SF delegation to Dublin Forum for Peace and Reconciliation (1994-1996).

He has long been regarded as key ally of the SF leadership and played a significant role in the party's move to abandon abstentionism in 1986 as well as supporting its peace strategy of the 1990s. His growing profile as a public figure also perfectly illustrates the emergence of SF as an electoral force on both sides of the border. Doherty's first attempt to win public office came in the late 1970s when he was unsuccessful in local government elections in Donegal. This was followed by failed attempts to win the Donegal North East seat in the Dáil in the 1989 general election, the 1996 by-election, and the 1997 general election. In addition in 1989 and again in 1994 he contested the elections for the European Parliament for the constituency of Connaught/Ulster. Following developments in the peace process in Northern Ireland he was finally elected as a SF representative (1996-98) for the constituency of West Tyrone to the Northern Ireland Forum in May 1996. In June 1997 he failed to win the Westminster seat of West Tyrone in the general election although he polled well enough to establish a firm political base there. This was demonstrated in 1998 when Doherty was elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly on the first count in West Tyrone. This success, combined with his prominent role as one of his party's delegates to the multi-party talks that was to produce the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998, further strengthened his position and in the Westminster election of May 2001 Doherty emerged to become SF MP for West Tyrone. He also now serves as the party's spokesperson on regional and all-Ireland development.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Moloney, Ed. (2002), A Secret History of the IRA. London: Penguin Press.
Web Sources:
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/biography/0,9312,-1422,00.html
http://celticj1.tripod.com/IOU/pdoherty.html
http://www.sinnfein.ie/
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/pdoherty.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 13 November 2002]


Donaldson, Jeffrey (b. 7 December 1963)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP 1997-2003; Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP 2004-present

Jeffrey Donaldson was born in Kilkeel, County Down, and educated at Kilkeel High School, and Castlereagh College of Further Education. His political career began when he became a member of the Young Unionist movement at the age of 18 and later he went on to become Chairman of the Ulster Young Unionist Council in 1985 and 1986. In 1983 Donaldson was appointed electoral agent to Enoch Powell, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP for South Down and succeeded in 1983 and 1986, in ensuring the seat was retained in spite of the fact that the constituency had a nationalist majority. At a by-election in October 1985 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for South Down (1985-86) and later combined this role as Personal Assistant to James Molyneaux, then leader of the UUP and MP for Lagan Valley. Within the ranks of the UUP Donaldson's profile began to rise and in 1988 he was appointed honorary secretary of the party's ruling body, the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), and held this position until 2000 when he became vice-president of the UUC. Although he was unsuccessful in winning the nomination of the UUP to be its candidate at the 1989 European election, Donaldson was included as a member of his party's delegation to the all-party talks on Northern Ireland over the period 1991-92. Following Molyneaux's announcement of his intention to retire as MP for Lagan Valley at the 1997 general election, Donaldson was selected by the local branch of the UUP as his replacement and in the subsequent contest was comfortably returned (1997-present).

In addition to his role as a Westminster MP he had also been elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for Lagan Valley in May 1996 (1996-98) and became an important member of the UUP's negotiating team in the talks process that was to culminate with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement(GFA) in April 1998. Donaldson however had refused to back his party's decision to support the GFA and in fact had walked out of the negotiations at the last moment in protest. During the referendum campaign in May 1998 he actively campaigned for a 'No' vote and based his opposition primarily on the grounds that the UUP should not enter into a power-sharing executive with Sinn Féin (SF) until the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had finished the decommissioning of its weaponry. As a result of his stance, Donaldson was refused permission by his party to stand in June 1998 for elections to the new Northern Ireland Assembly. In spite of this setback he has remained highly critical of the policies adopted by David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, concerning the implementation of the GFA and the decision to participate with SF representatives in the Northern Ireland Executive.

Whilst Donaldson has always been careful to deny claims that his real intention was to challenge Trimble for the leadership of the UUP, since 1998 he has steadfastly continued with efforts to persuade the rest of the party to overturn its policy on the GFA. This was largely done by moves to call meetings of the party's ruling body, the UUC, at which the debates centred on the participation of the UUP in the Executive in the absence of decommissioning. Donaldson's strategy finally succeeded in September 2002 when a motion was passed confirming the party's intention to pull out of government with SF within a specified period of time, in the absence of a clear demonstrations by republicans that there would be no return to violence. Shortly after this decision developments elsewhere brought this whole question to a head and in the ensuing political turmoil the British government decided to suspend the institutions of the GFA in October 2002. He continued however to voice criticism of his party leader, David Trimble, and this took different forms. For instance aong with two of his fellow Westminster MPs, Donaldson resigned from the party's group at Westminster from June 2003 until October 2003. In the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in November 2003 he was returned as one of the UUP's representatives for the constituency of Lagan Valley (2003-present). But a few weeks later in December 2003 Donaldson formally resigned from the UUP and in January 2004 joined the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Book References:
Cochrane, Feargal. (2001), Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism Since the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Cork: Cork University 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/764997.stm
http://www.uup.org/
http://www.rte.ie/news/features/westminster_election/constituencies/lagan_valley.html
http://www.epolitix.com/Data/people/A5C656BFB1819F47913A12F95CF75B350000002695BA/Profile.ht http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/biography/0,9312,-1427,00.html
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=353
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 13 November 2002; updated 9 June 2004]


Drumm, Marie (b.1920)
Republican Activist; Vice-President Sinn Féin (SF) 1972-76
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Durkan, Mark (b. 26 June 1960)
Politician; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA; Leader of the SDLP 2001-present; Deputy First Minister November 2001 - October 2002

A native of Derry City, Mark Durkan was educated at St Patrick's Primary School and St Columb's College, Derry before attending Queen's University Belfast where he studied politics and later the University of Ulster (Magee) completing a part-time BA course in Public Policy. Whilst at Queen's, Durkan became involved in student politics and subsequently served as Deputy President of the Student Union (1981-1982) and later Deputy President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) from (1982-1984). In addition he had also joined the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and in 1984 took up a position as full-time aide to John Hume, then leader of the SDLP and Westminster MP for Foyle. Within the party his reputation was enhanced when Durkan successfully ran the election campaigns which were to see the SDLP win the parliamentary seats of Newry and South Armagh in 1986 and South Down in 1987. Then in 1990 he became party Chairman (1990-95) and in 1993 was elected to public office for the first time when he was returned as a member of Derry City Council (1993-2000).

As a close confidante of Hume, he defended his party's leaders discussions with Sinn Féin (SF) during the early 1990s against criticism from both within and outside the SDLP. With developments in the peace process Durkan was one of the SDLP's delegates to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin (1994-96). Then following his election in May 1996 for the constituency of Foyle (1996-98) to the Northern Ireland Forum he was one of the party's senior negotiators at the multi-party talks which were to lead to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. At the subsequent referendum campaign in May 1998 Durkan was in charge of the SDLP's efforts to persuade the electorate to support the GFA. A few weeks later he was returned as a member for Foyle in the new Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-present) and with the establishment of the power-sharing Executive in November 1999 he was appointed to the position of Minister of Finance and Personnel (1999-2001). This was a role he was to combine alongside participation in the all-party negotiations aimed at ensuring the full implementation of the GFA.

With the decision of John Hume to retire as leader of the SDLP in September 2001 Durkan was immediately considered favourite to succeed him. At the annual party conference in November 2001 he was returned unopposed to the leadership of the party (2001-present). In the same month he was also to take over as Deputy First Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive(2001-2002) following the retirement of his party colleague, Seamus Mallon, and served in this position until the suspension of the institutions of the GFA in October 2002. In November 2003 Durkan's leadership of the SDLP faced its first major electoral challenge in the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The outcome was to be a disappointing one with the party losing six seats and its share of the first preference vote falling to 17%.

Book References:
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 and Macmillan.
Murray, Gerard. (1998), John Hume and the SDLP:Impact and Survival in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1641859.stm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/mdurkan.htm
http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/
http://www.sdlp.ie/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 13 November 2002; updated 9 June 2004]


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

  • [Menu] [Search] [Name_List] [Role_List] [Sources]
    Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


    CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
    CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


    go to the top of this page go to the top of this page
    Last modified :