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Brendan Duddy Papers
Update Feb 2018
- Digital exhibition launched (Context and more information about the archive)
Throughout twenty years of violent conflict in Northern Ireland a secret channel of communication linked the IRA to the highest levels of the British government. At the heart of this channel was a single intermediary, Brendan Duddy. His house was the venue for secret negotiations between the British Government and the IRA throughout 1975. He managed the intense negotiations over the Republican hunger strikes in which ten men died (1980-1981) and he was at the heart of the contacts (1991-1993) that culminated in a secret offer of a ceasefire that was a precursor to the public IRA ceasefire of 1994.
Deposited at NUI Galway in 2009, the papers of Brendan Duddy provide a unique insight into this channel from the perspective of an individual who operated at the intersection of the two sides. They include coded diaries of contact kept by Duddy throughout 1975 and early 1976 and a diary kept for several months in 1993 when communication between the British Government and the IRA was at its most intense, as well as documents exchanged between the British Government and the IRA. Taken together with the Ruairí Ó Bradaigh papers, also at NUI Galway, these archives provide a window on the secret back-channel negotiation that was one of the most intriguing aspects of the Irish peace process.
The papers have been listed and are available for consultation in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room, located on the ground floor of the Hardiman Research Building.