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 Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy

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PostSubject: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:54 pm

I'm sorry to hear that Albert Reynolds is not well. He always struck me as the most interesting Taoiseach of the past few years. His role in the Peace Process and adventure in the FF/Labour Party coalition are both worthy of note. To a certain extent he seemed an outsider in his own Party. In some ways he cut quite a lonely figure without the tightly knit band of followers that surrounded Bertie and Charlie H.

Does anyone here have any thoughts on his career, image and legacy?


Last edited by cactus flower on Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:30 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Correction)
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:01 pm

What do you mean by the Rainbow Coalition ? And why did his government split up with the Dick Spring Labour party again?
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:11 pm

Albert wasn't the worst.And I say this as someone who is deeply suspicious of FF. He was, at least, a self-made man so it is highly unlikely his hands were fumbling in the greasy till.
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:55 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
What do you mean by the Rainbow Coalition ? And why did his government split up with the Dick Spring Labour party again?

Thank you Auditor '9. Apologies for sleep deprived posting. I meant to refer to the FF/Labour coalition 1992-4.

http://www.answers.com/topic/albert-reynolds - good biog.
His government fell during a delicate stage of negotiations over the Peace Process, ostensibly due to slow extradition of a priest accused of sex abuse to the North of Ireland :

Quote :


Reynolds continued efforts to depopularize the IRA's armed struggle for unification and to expand the peace dialog with the Major government. Reynolds' government fell during the delicate negotiations surrounding the Clinton peace initiative brokered by Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State for economic initatives in Ireland, George Mitchell. The dark comic events resulting in Reynolds' ouster were precipated by delays in the extradition of a priest to Northern Ireland on charges of child sexual abuse. A series of allegations emerged about Reynolds-appointed President of the High Court, Harry Whelehan, whom Reynolds had elevated to that post from Attorney-General in the midst of the affair. The charges implicated Whelehan, then serving as Attorney-General, in delaying the extradition to spare Reynolds the political embarrassment and risk likely to accompany compliance with the Northern Irish request.
Reynolds government fell shortly thereafter.

One important effect of his demise was a delay in the peace process. In the months after Reynolds' fall, rumors surfaced in Dublin and Washington, based on likely CIA and FBI sources, that the entire affair had been orchestrated by British intelligence as a test to bring down Reynolds who was perceived as having too effective influence over Major. The priest in question was revealed to have paid four documented visits to the North with the the knowledge of authorities, yet no effort had been made to apprehend him.


ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Reynolds

That is the first time I have read that assertion about Intelligence involvement, but at the time the push against Reynolds was going on I felt it was undemocratic and unaccountable based on the actual events. Although I'm not an FF supporter I felt angry with the way the government and the coalition ended. The possibility of something along those lines crossed my mind, although I don't remember any discussion of it.

Reynolds seemed in some respects to be quite an isolated character - I saw him at an event once sitting on his own at a table - no one joined him for a good fifteen minutes.
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:30 pm

An interesting account of Reynold's role in the Peace Process by Mansergh

http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:-E_1fUbbBjcJ:www.c-r.org/our-work/accord/northern-


How the British Government spied on Albert...

http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:Mmagv_4AoqkJ:jya.com/gchq-etf.htm+Albert+Reynolds+Government+British+Intelligence&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=ie

1992 Adams loses West Belfast seat to SDLP after string of poor election performances by Sinn Féin; Haughey ousted, succeeded by Albert Reynolds, who backs process and keeps Martin Mansergh as NI adviser; Sinn Féin publishes “Toward a Lasting Peace”; Hume-Adams document is worked out, but omits time period for British withdrawal.
1993 Hume-Adams contacts are publicly revealed for first time, and Sinn Féin’s vote rises for first time; Army Council rejects British “Nine Pointer” demands, Adams urges AC to continue negotiations; AC agrees to ban commercial bombings; Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds negotiates separate document with the British, the “Downing Street Declaration” (DSD); Shankill bomb kills 10.
1994 AC rejects DSD; IRA mini-Convention opposes ceasefire; Reynolds lifts Irish broadcasting ban on Sinn Féin; U.S. President Bill Clinton grants Adams 48-hour Visa for trip to New York; Reynolds sends 14-point ceasefire proposal to AC; AC votes for four-month ceasefire; British raise IRA decommissioning demand; AC extends ceasefire to April 1995. Posted by Ulster's my homeland, not Ireland on Jan 31, 2008 on Slugger O'Toole

Whether one agrees with it or not, from the accounts of those involved Albert Reynolds played an energetic and central role in pushing for a cease fire and an agreement. http://www.atholbooks.org/archives/pastipr/feb05.php
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:41 pm

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19961020/ai_n14083470


This is a good account of the Reynolds/Sunday Times libel trial

Quote :


At the case's heart is the paper's interpretation of the events surrounding the collapse of Mr Reynolds's government. This was precipitated by revelations of the then attorney general Harry Whelehan's failure to act on a Northern Ireland extradition request concerning paedophile priest Brendan Smyth. The key issue is whether Mr Reynolds knew of the existence of an earlier extradition case when he told the Dail (on advice from Mr Whelehan) that the seven-month delay in the Smyth affair was because it was the first to be processed under a complex new extradition system. It later emerged that there had been a precedent. A note from Mr Whelehan sent to the Dail, alerting him to this, failed to reach Mr Reynolds in time. Also crucially, it emerged that Mr Reynolds deferred further consideration of the Smyth extradition by a day because of the murder of a Newry postman and his concern about the impact on the peace process.

One juryman described the case as being like "going through a maze with a hangover". The result was a technical win for Reynolds but a financial disaster.
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:06 pm

Just found this on a very odd website headed "The Alliance Support Group" that claims to serve the interests of abuse victims. It is part funded by the Department of Education and Science and seems highly defensive of the Church and focused mainly on false claims. It is the most detailed account of the issues underlying the fall of the Reynolds FF / Labour Government, but i can't vouch for its accuracy.

http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:QEyKglMjdVsJ:www.alliancesupport.org/news/archives/001528.html+Irish+Times+Albert+Reynolds+Father+Brendan+Smyth&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=ie
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Reynolds - The Legend and The Legacy   Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:07 pm

The Wikipedia entry for Reynolds is pretty good. It seems that so long as he supported Haughey he was alright but as soon as he pulled back from him things started to go wrong. So far as he did pull back from Haughey, it's hard to say what the reason is - personal amibtion? Or was it that he had seen too much of what was going on and wanted to do something about it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Reynolds
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