"I wanted to show people that actually the world can be changed."
- Brendan Duddy, The secret Peacemaker (Film, Part 1, 1:29)
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.
Peter Taylor, a british jounalist, examined in his film 'The secret Peacemaker' (2008) the role of Brendan Duddy as a secret link between the British government and the IRA. He told "the story of an ordinary man involved in extraordinary events" (Peter Taylor, The secret Peacemaker, Film, Part 1, 0:03). View the film 'The secret Peacemaker' by Peter Taylor
"The first thing to do was to replace bombings and killings with dialogue. It seems simple, but that was the essence of everything: dialogue."
- Brendan Duddy, The secret Peacemaker (Film, Part 3, 8:30)
Duddy played a crucial role as an intermediary and a secret back-channel between the British government and the IRA. Niall Ó Dochartaigh, a senior lecturer for Political Science & Sociology at NUI Galway, emphasized the role of an intermediary and especially of a back-channel in such a conflict situation in some of his publications. In this Podcast Ó Dochartaigh talks about peace negotiations. Just click and hear!