Denis Healey was unique and exactly the type of politician Ireland could do with
On a bright September morning in 1981, Denis Healey and I walked together from a Brighton hotel to the British Labour Party's annual conference.
The day before, Healey had been re-elected deputy leader of the party, defeating Tony Benn by a whisker.
At the time, Labour was in the midst of its civil war which followed the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. Voters had turned on Labour in the wake of the 'winter of discontent', when the unions revolted, rubbish piled up in the streets and the dead were left unburied.