Saturday 21 April 2018

John-Paul McCarthy: Thatcher chose to ignore poor analysis

Anglo-Irish affairs have suffered a lack of self-awareness, says

IRELAND VIEWED THROUGH THE SAME GRIM PRISM: Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Hillsborough in 1985, overseen by Dick Spring (behind the Taoiseach)
IRELAND VIEWED THROUGH THE SAME GRIM PRISM: Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Hillsborough in 1985, overseen by Dick Spring (behind the Taoiseach)

John-Paul McCarthy

In his thrilling account of life in the African fast lane, Conor Cruise O'Brien took aim at the diplomat's weakness for euphemism and piety.

To Katanga and Back concluded with O'Brien's admonition that "it is often less cynical, and ultimately less damaging to the institution, to bring the realities of its life into public discussion, than to conceal them behind – in Mr Auden's words – 'a set mask of rectitude'".

Auden's mask saps self-awareness, that vital elixir of diplomatic life.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss