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Sean MacBride and the long, baleful shadow he cast

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Lingering influences: Sean MacBride’s views continue to haunt us today.

Lingering influences: Sean MacBride’s views continue to haunt us today.

Lingering influences: Sean MacBride’s views continue to haunt us today.

Given the weighty contents of his inbox (Vladimir Putin, Ebola, a possible British exit from the EU, and those inescapable and dreary steeples), our decorous and diligent Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan probably does not think too much about his predecessors. But he must have moments when he ponders the apostolic succession, and thinks of the exotic cast of characters who have sat in his chair.

These include, inter alia, a seasoned killer (Aiken), a world-famous hydrologist (Dooge), a medical doctor (Hillery), an English-born dandy with a taste in Imagist poetry (the first FitzGerald), and his son, the designer and consumer of Aer Lingus timetables (the second FitzGerald).


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