Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Patrick Hillery: the Official Biography by John Walsh

Patrick Hillery: the Official Biography by John WalshDr Patrick Hillery, one of County Clare’s most famous sons, was not only a formidable politician, but also one of the most creative public figures in recent Irish history. In this official biography, John Walsh recounts both the personal life and the career of one of the major Irish politicians of the twentieth century. He describes his childhood in Miltown Malbay, his education there, in Rockwell and UCD, and his family life. Walsh details his rise through the political ranks from his first election to the Dáil in 1951, his time as Minister, European Commissioner and eventually his election as President in 1976. He also considers Dr Hillery’s impact on significant turning points in contemporary Irish history, including the arms crisis in 1970 and Ireland’s accession to the European Community. Hillery’s recollections of the most controversial events of his career, notably the Papal visit in 1979 and attempts by Charles J. Haughey to draw the presidency into party politics in the early 1980s, are analysed for the first time. The book is based on a number of in-depth interviews with Dr. Hillery and on unrestricted access to his private papers. The work provides a comprehensive and balanced portrayal of one of the most important figures in the development of contemporary Ireland. Patrick Hillery: the Official Biography by John Walsh was published by New Island in 2008.

No comments: