Conor Cruise Dies

The former Irish government minister and journalist Conor Cruise O'Brien, who at one point joined the UK Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, has died.

The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has been leading tributes for him after he passed away last night at the age of 91.

Mr O'Brien was Minister for Posts and Telegraphs during the Fine Gael-Labour coalition in the 1970s and also went on to become a Senator.

He later became Editor-in-Chief of the Observer newspaper in the UK and was a strong critic of Charles Haughey, as well as Sinn Fein and the IRA.

Dr O'Brien is perhaps best known for his part in introducing a broadcasting ban on members of Sinn Fein and also defended alleged violent mistreatment of republican suspects by the Gardai.

Mr Cowen said last night that Dr O'Brien had been a leading figure in Irish life since the 1960s, challenging and passionate, with sincere commitments to a better and more peaceful Ireland.

Labour party TD Joan Burton, meanwhile, said he was responsible for some defining moments in Irish politics.

Dr O'Brien is survived by his wife, the Irish-language poet Maire Mhac an tSaoi, their two adopted children and two other children from his first marriage.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 May 2008
'Large Irish Presence' At Cannes
The focal point for the Irish film industry at the Cannes Film Festival, the Irish Pavilion, has opened again for business this week, with over 200 of the leading lights of the Irish film industry flying out to the festival to promote and sell new Irish cinema.
25 August 2016
Minister for Arts To Attend Culture Summit In Edinburgh
The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, is to attend the Edinburgh International Culture Summit. Minister Humphreys will attend a number of meetings during her visit, including Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.
14 October 2014
Minister for Foreign Affairs Urged To Set Timeframe For Talks On North
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has been urged to outline a timeframe for the next phase of cross party negotiations involving the British and Irish Governments.
18 November 2010
Irish Guardsman Dies In Afghan Firefight
The Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson has this morning expressed his sympathy to the family of a soldier from the 1st Battalion Irish Guards who has been killed in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that he was shot in an ambush while patrolling in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province yesterday afternoon.
30 June 2010
Russian Espionage Scandal Used Irish Passports
It has emerged that at least one false Irish passport was used by a Russian spy ring allegedly operating in the US. The passport is said to have been passed to a Richard Murphy, who is among 11 people currently under trail in Manhattan Federal court, charged with being a Russian spy.