Republican Plot: Sean MacBride

(1904 - 1988) Patriot, stateman, founder member of Amnesty International & TD.

Republican Plot: Sean MacBride
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About Republican Plot: Sean MacBride

Republican Plot: Sean MacBride in (1904 - 1988) Patriot, stateman, founder member of Amnesty International & TD..

Born in Paris on 26th January 1904, son of John MacBride and Maud Gonne MacBride. Educated in Paris and then Mount St Benedicts, Gorey.

He joined the Irish Volunteers, saw active service in the War of Independence and opposed the Treaty of 1921. He remained a member of the IRA, served terms in prison, and went on the run for several years.

Earning his living as a journalist in Paris and London, he then returned to Dublin and became chief of staff of the IRA in 1936. He was called to the bar in 1937 and resigned from the IRA on enactment that year of the new Constitution of Ireland, which he said made it possible to achieve national objectives by political means.

In 1946 he founded Clann na Poblachta and joined the first inter-party Government in February 1948 as Minister for External Affairs. Under his guidance Ireland rejected NATO and acceded to the Council of Europe, thus affirming the country's neutral stance.

In the general election of June 1951 Clann na Poblachta was reduced from ten seats to two. MacBride held his seat, but was defeated in the 1957 and 1961 general elections and left politics.

Continuing his career at the bar MacBride became prominent on the world stage as a defender of human rights and campaigner for peace. He was a founder member of Amnesty International and international chairman 1961-1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974 and the Lenin Peace Prize in 1977.

He was also responsible for proposing the 'MacBride Principles' aimed at eliminating discrimation against Catholics by employers in Northern Ireland.

He died on 15th January 1988 at his home in Roebuck House, Clonskeagh, Co Dublin and is buried in the Republican plot in Glasnevin Cemetery with his mother, Maude Gonne MacBride.

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