About the Author(s)
Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Professor of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland Galway
Niall Ó Dochartaigh is Personal Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway. He has published extensively on the Northern Ireland conflict and on mediation, peace negotiations, and territorial conflict. Previous publications include the co-edited books Political Violence in Context (ECPR Press 2015), Dynamics of Political Change in Ireland: Making and Breaking a Divided Island (Routledge 2017), and a seminal study of the Northern Ireland conflict: Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the birth of the Irish Troubles(Palgrave Macmillan 2005). He was a founding convener of the Standing Group on Political Violence
of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) and the Specialist Group on Peace and Conflict of the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI).
"An impressive book. Drawing on previously unmined sourcesELhe offers a subtle account of a complex courtshipEL offers important evidence of shifting strategy over the years [and] thoughtful analysis of his own. [Intermediary Brendan Duddy] was a long-distance runner, with all the loneliness and determination of the breed. So, too, in his own way, is Professor O Dochartaigh. To collect and collate the Duddy archive, to piece together the story it tells, to place that story in broader historical and theoretical contexts, to acknowledge that it is only one of many stories in the convoluted history of Ireland-these things take effort and staminaEL [We are] in his debt for his solid and serious monograph." -- Dermot Quinn, Reviews of New Books
"In the light of Niall Ó Dochartaigh's startling book on back-channel negotiations between the UK government and the IRA leadership between the 1970s and the 1990s, it's now clear that British public opinion significantly misread the Provisional IRA - though no more than the IRA's rank and file supporters misunderstood their own leadership. ... in Ó Dochartaigh's dauntingly revisionist interpretation of the Troubles, the continuing conflict becomes far less easy to explain than the much desired peace that took decades to arrive..." -- Colin Kidd, London Review of Books
"a ground-breaking study of great sophistication and deep analysis which provides a better understanding of the complicated and long process that ended violence in Northern Ireland... It is extremely well written and has something of a cloak and dagger quality that keeps the reader engaged and in suspense. the full story of how and why the IRA and the British government ultimately came to the negotiation table after a quarter-century of conflict has now been illuminated by Niall Ó Dochartaigh in his comprehensive and deeply researched analysis The analysis is also enriched by the various theoretical works on peace making and negotiation that the author consulted and weaved into his narrative" -- Catherine Shannon, Irish Literary Supplement
"[This] important new bookEL takes us through the twists and turns in this secret diplomacy, with particular attention directed towards three initiatives - the first in 1975-76, the second in 1981 and the third in 1990-91 - when the British government and Provisional Irish Republican Army 'initiated back-channel contacts aimed at a peaceful compromise. Ó Dochartaigh tells a very compelling story ...[and] he offers us a rare glimpse intoEL a missing dimension of the Northern Ireland conflict." -- Aaron Edwards, Irish Political Studies