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Remembering Brendan Duddy: the Secret Peacemaker

Remembering Brendan Duddy: the Secret Peacemaker

Presented as part of TIHR70 festival.

Tavistock Institute

November 21, 2017
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  1. Shauna Duddy,
    Patricia Duddy,
    Brendan Duddy Jnr.
    Friday 20th October 2017

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  2. Brendan Duddy
    10th June 1936 – 12th May 2017

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  3. Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney
    Masons, when they start upon a building,
    Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
    Make sure that planks won't slip at busy points,
    Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
    And yet all this comes down when the job's done
    Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
    So if, my dear, there sometimes seems to be
    Old bridges breaking between you and me
    Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
    Confident that we have built our wall.

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  4. Brendan introduced to Tavistock
    “I was in my fish and chip in William Street when Paddy (Bogside) Doherty came in
    and ordered me to Dublin. Paddy’s force of personality is so great that I said “Okay, what
    for?”
    “The Irish Foundation for Human Development is having its first Irish Convention. I
    think you would benefit from it if you came.” Typically Paddy. The conference totally
    changed my life forever. Professor Ivor Brown, Paddy Doherty and Garret O’ Connor, along
    with Paddy Wally and a team of Americans were the staff, and after a week of 9 am to 9
    pm sitting in a room doing nothing (as I then experienced it) I was shattered, completely
    wreaked, lost, angry and bewildered. I was determined to never again be so lost. I went
    annually, for the next four years, to the Leicester International Conference, and learned
    and learned and learned. I was like a penguin returning to the ocean. It was a whole new
    world, a new language. I was preparing to sit down with the British. I had learned my
    trade; James Prior brought in a Devolution bill. Robert and I began a courtship. We had a
    mountain of distrust between us on both sides to begin with. Future generations may
    wonder what the ambience was like and unless you have experienced racial hatred, or
    the anger against Germany and Japan after world war two, or taken sides on the Arab
    Israeli conflict, or have been abandoned by your lover, you will never know.
    We began by accepting the position as it existed.”

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  5. Civil Rights 15th November 1968

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  6. Civil Rights 1968

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  7. Civil Rights 1968

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  8. Civil Rights 1968

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  9. Bloody Sunday, 30th January 1972

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  10. The Miami Showband in
    Brendan’s chip-shop circa 1970

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  11. Miami
    Showband:
    Murdered July
    31st 1975

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  12. Brendan leading traders out from a meeting with security chiefs to
    stop their plan to seal the two main streets off from the City Centre.

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  13. Hunger Strikes 1980 & 1981.
    The five demands written on OPUS headed paper
    • the right not to wear a
    prison uniform;
    • the right not to do prison
    work;
    • the right of free association
    with other prisoners, and to
    organise educational and
    recreational pursuits;
    • the right to one visit, one
    letter and one parcel per
    week;
    • full restoration of remission
    lost through the protest.

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  14. Extracts from Brendan’s “Red” Diary 1981- Brendan donated his
    diaries to the National University of Galway in 2011

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  15. Extracts from Brendan’s “Red” Diary 1981

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  16. Note from Bobby Sands to Brendan, shortly
    before he died after 66 days on hunger strike
    “To you and your friends,
    may I be permitted to say
    a last goodbye, if my going
    is to mean anything, may it
    mean peace and freedom to
    you and yours. On behalf of
    myself and the others, I must add
    that we deeply appreciate all
    your efforts on our behalf”.
    M.S.F.B.

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  17. Eric Millar, Social Scientist- Brendan had this
    poster on his wall for 15 years

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  18. Brendan’s notes from a Tavistock
    conference

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  19. Brendan with Zeav Avni, ex-Russian Spy,
    in Israel

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  20. Veret Amitzzi, a dear friend to Brendan

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  21. Brendan with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

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  22. NOTE FROM KEN- MI-6

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  23. A Poem by Brendan Duddy during
    dark times

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  24. Brendan had a life-changing stroke in 2010. In
    2013 he met the Dalai Lama who described
    Brendan as “a hero”

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  25. Brendan with the Pope 2015

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  26. Letter to Martin Mc Guinness
    August 30th 1997 “SPLITTING”
    I started off to write one paper about the talks process and have come to the conclusion that a second
    paper dealing with the effects of the process on the negotiators and the movement in general, is
    necessary.
    The subject is splitting, and splits. Over the last 20 years I have been very fortunate to work with some
    of the leading psychologists on aspects of human behaviour. It is very easy to recognise a split and
    very painful if one is caught up in it. The conditions necessary for a split to occur can also be very
    clearly defined. What is not known, is the internal mechanisms which actually make the process of
    splitting happen.
    There is a belief system that the Republican Movement is more prone to splitting than most other
    organisations. This is not true. The reality is, that splitting is a most common phenomenon
    throughout the entire world and in every possible type of organisation. Ireland is no different to
    Alaska in this respect. The most common split in modern life is divorce. The statistics prove the point.
    What is so fearful at this very historic time (August 29th 1997) is that at the back of every Republican’s
    mind are these questions:-
    1. Will the talks last?
    2. Is this the end of the struggle?
    3. Will we have another nightmare of splits, splitting, betrayal and accusations?
    4. Is there anything which can be done to try and understand this phenomenon?
    Cover-ups are not the answer, because all this does is block out reality and force the leadership and the
    team of negotiators to focus more on their internal fractions rather than on their primary task of
    negotiation, settlement and agreement.
    Again, the question is why do splits occur and how are they best dealt with?

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  27. Before writing this paper I checked with colleagues. No one had any clear answers but certain common
    criteria did emerge. The higher the idealism, the more intense the comradeship and shared struggle,
    then the more likely that any settlement whatsoever will cause a split. It is as if the fear of arriving after
    such a long journey of struggle causes a tidal-wave of convulsion, creating a split.
    It is the intensity of feeling and the certainty that one’s position is the true and only correct one, which
    fuels this phenomenon. The worst aspect of it is that it would appear that the leadership is selected as
    guardians of the unattainable ideal, the perfect solution, and when this cannot be fully and completely
    achieved, an immediate sense of betrayal occurs and the splitting process has begun.
    In Ireland, you often hear older people speaking of how brother fought brother, and father fought son
    during the terrible civil war which followed the treaty negotiations. In hindsight, one can choose which
    side one would have been on with remarkable self-assurance, but this doesn’t come close to explaining
    the bitterness and the intensity which tore families and comrades apart.
    It would appear that the intensity of the struggle precludes a compromise settlement and the ideal
    fantasy position is held to be fully obtainable, if only the chosen leadership had been good enough and
    strong enough to negotiate better.
    The de Valera strategy position of staying in Ireland as his team negotiated in London, is acting out this
    very phenomenon and one can never know what the reality position would or could have been if de
    Valera had put all his energies and included himself in the negotiating team from day one in London.
    Again, this is one of the characteristics of the split. The leader, demanding the most, settling for nothing
    less than the perfect solution, stands on top of the mountain at ease with himself condemning the futile
    efforts of all those below.

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  28. When Daithi O Conaill, Ruairi O Bradaigh and Sean Keenan split and walked out of the 1986 Ard Fheis,
    they did so in their own understanding that they and they alone were holding true to the Republican
    ideals, and that the changes and compromises being proposed by the platform and accepted by over
    90% of the members present, were a betrayal of true Irish republicanism. I knew these men well and had
    worked with them for many years and the one phrase which springs to mind to describe them is “that
    they were honourable men.” But the thought of change was unbearable, so they formed a faction and
    split.
    I would maintain that the nature of the task facing the leadership of the Republican Movement at 15th
    September 1997 talks will create splits and that this should be recognised for what it is:- a fear of change
    and a loss of the security offered by holding on to the idealism of the perfect solution. The phrase which
    springs to my mind at this moment is that of the Ulster Loyalist “No Surrender! Not an inch!” clearly
    seen, and realistically seen by the Republican Movement and everyone else as a fantasy, an unattainable
    perfect loyalist position.
    So, the phenomenon of splitting crosses all divides and already the various loyalist groups are faced with
    this problem. Billy Wright and the Loyalist Volunteer Force seeing themselves as the only true holders of
    loyalist ideals. It is as if the process demands that some one or group occupies this extreme, no
    compromise position on behalf of their community in every struggle.
    The Hut-Tutsi struggle in Rwanda, the Seb-Croat-Muslim struggle in Yugoslavia are current examples of
    the acting-out, with dreadful consequences the phenomenon of splitting. The people caught up in these
    splits saw genocide as a viable option. This is how intensely the phenomenon of splitting can take hold.
    There are no easy answers to the phenomenon of splitting, but knowledge, understanding and
    explanations of the thought processes of the negotiating team at the September talks will go a long way
    to help avoid the unthinkable.
    The primary task of the leadership of the Republican Movement is to negotiate an Irish settlement.
    Every other consideration is an indulgence.
    Good luck to yourself and your team and my thoughts are with you.
    June

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  29. Brendan with Martin
    McGuinness in April
    2016 in Brendan’s home
    in the Glen Road.
    Martin passed away on
    21st March 2017.
    Brendan passed away
    less that 2 months later.

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  30. 'Fred’s’ farewell letter to Brendan

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  31. Martin McGuinness “One
    of the most surprising
    revelations was whenever
    (the Columbian Gvt)
    started to talk to me
    about the back channel
    …and they mentioned the
    name Brendan Duddy….
    When they opened a back
    channel with FARC they
    named it “Brendan”.

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  32. Michael Oatley visits Brendan at home on 3rd April 1998
    (exactly a week before the signing of The Good Friday Agreement)

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  33. Michael Oatley in the kitchen of Brendan’s house on 3rd April 1998
    (exactly a week before the signing of The Good Friday Agreement)

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  34. Michael Oatley at the iconic “Free Derry Corner” on 3rd April 1998
    (exactly a week before the signing of The Good Friday Agreement

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  35. Dr. W. Gordon Lawrence (1934-2013)

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  36. “An Irish Peacemaker”
    by Gordon Lawrence
    “One man who consistently followed human
    hope to shape his ideas was Brendan Duddy, an
    Irish businessman, who was secretly engaged in
    the role of a peacemaker in Ireland since the
    early 1960s. This role he created by his own
    authority without the benefit, or constraints, of
    being accountable to any grouping with the
    purpose of making peace…..Here, it is the
    exercise of authority that is the subject, not the
    narrative of the ‘Troubles'. He is an example of
    bottom-up leadership.”

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  37. Brendan Duddy in his own words:-
    “I believed it could be done by one
    being, any being, providing that
    the belief was present. I never
    doubted my journey, my work, my
    Peace Process and understanding
    how difficult it is to be alone.”

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  38. A “Get Well” letter to Brendan from Gordon Lawrence

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  39. Brendan and the Third Space
    Integral to Brendan’s approach to negotiation was the
    creation, in his mind, of the third space.
    Family and work take up two of the spaces, with the third
    being for democracy, civil society and creative engagement.
    The third space is a mental space in which the ideas of a
    warring culture, with differing beliefs, can be re-shaped to
    enable forward thinking and open talk.
    The purpose was to launch the idea of dialogue in which
    people could allow each other to contribute to a peaceful
    settlement by moving to a third space of collaboration.
    Brendan’s place will probably never be re-filled.
    Now, there’s a huge void in our family space, in our
    community place and in our hearts.

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