My friend Sean: a patriot who turned from terror to become an inspiration
Sean O'Callaghan dedicated his life to the fight against fanaticism and brutality, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
As several of the many sorrowful friends and/or admirers of Sean O'Callaghan put it in messages over the past few days: "At least the Provos didn't get him".
And, as another summed up the essence of his life after he decided the IRA was evil: "He saw his life as one of expiation and to that end, never lost the opportunity to confront the ancient Irish Spirit that has caused so many young and good Irishmen to rush 'Gaderene-like' to murder and mayhem".
Sean was brought up in a Kerry family of true believers. By the time he was 20, he was an experienced terrorist who had murdered two people in the name of a united Ireland. Eva Martin and Peter Flanagan would haunt him for the rest of his life. He left the IRA at 20, but returned to atone as an unpaid spy for the Garda Siochana.