Notes on interviewees
in Inside Accounts, Volume II

Notes on interviewees

BERTIE AHERN was elected to the Dail in 1977 as a member of Fianna Fail. An Assistant Whip in the first Government of Taoiseach Charles Haughey, he then became a Junior Minister in Haughey’s second Government before becoming Minister for Labour. Ahern was made Minister for Finance in 1991 and was elected party leader in 1994. In 1997 he was made Taoiseach of Ireland and retained that position until 2008.

DAVID BYRNE served as the first European Union (EU) Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection from 1999 to 2004. He became a Senior Counsel in 1985 and was appointed Attorney-General of Ireland in 1997. In 1998 he was one of the negotiators of the Good Friday Agreement. Currently, Mr Byrne is Chair of the Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) as well as the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, where he serves as a member of the Council. In 2004 he was conferred with the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws by the National University of Ireland. He is Chancellor Emeritus, Dublin City University.

TIM DALTON worked from 1979 to 1989 as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Civil Legal Aid Board; he then returned to the Department of Justice as Head of Prisons and later as Assistant Secretary with responsibility for Security and Northern Ireland matters. He was based at the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast while on secondment to the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1992, and in 1993 returned to Justice as Secretary General, where he served until he retired in 2004.

DAVID DONOGHUE retired recently from Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. During a forty-year diplomatic career he engaged intensively over many years with the Northern Ireland problem and Anglo-Irish relations. He was involved in the negotiation of both the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) and the Good Friday Agreement (1998). He served several times in the Department’s Anglo-Irish Division, was assigned to the Embassy in London from 1995 to 1999 and was the Irish Joint Secretary of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast. He held two of the Department’s most senior management posts at headquarters and had ambassadorial postings to the Russian Federation, Austria, Germany and the United Nations. From 2014 to 2016 he co-chaired global negotiations which produced the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

WALLY KIRWAN was Assistant Secretary-General in the Department of the Taoiseach until his retirement in 2004. He was also concurrently Secretary General of both the National Forum on Europe and the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation. From 1975 to 1994 he was centrally involved in the formulation and co-ordination of Irish policy in the EU, attending over fifty European summits. From 1983 to 1984, he was Co-ordinator of the Secretariat of the New Ireland Forum which agreed the aggiornamento of Irish nationalist policy positions that led on to the Anglo-Irish Agreement 1985, and from 1987 to 1994 he was alternate Chairperson (to a Minister of State) of the Interdepartmental Committee on Ireland’s approach and policy in the EU. From 1994 to 1996 he acted as Secretary-General during the active phase of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and was then a senior member of the Irish Government delegation throughout the multi-party talks from 1996 that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. In 2008 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Memorial University of Newfoundland for his work in advancing peace in Northern Ireland and co-operation between Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador.

EAMONN MCKEE is a member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He served in various positions at home and abroad related to the peace process between 1986 and 2004, including Anglo-Irish Division, Embassy Washington DC and Consulate General New York. He subsequently served as Ambassador to South Korea (from 2009 to 2013) and Ambassador to Israel (from 2013 to 2015) before returning to headquarters.

RORY MONTGOMERY is an officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He worked on Northern Ireland issues between 1993 and 2001 and was part of the teams which negotiated the Good Friday Agreement and North–South institutions. Subsequently he was Political Director, Permanent Representative to the EU, Ambassador to France and EU Adviser to Enda Kenny. He is currently Second Secretary General, with lead responsibility for Brexit.

LIZ O’DONNELL was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College Law School Dublin. She served as TD (Member of the Dail) for Dublin South for the Progressive Democrats from 1992 to 2007. She was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1997 until 2002. As Minister she was a member of the Irish Government negotiating team in the multi-party talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and had a continuing role in Anglo-Irish relations until 2002. She was also Minister with responsibility for Overseas Development and Human Rights as well as a member of the Committee of Procedure and Privileges, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Commission of the Houses of the Oireachtas, the statutory body which runs both Houses. She was Deputy Leader of her party when she retired from politics in 2007. After politics, Liz was involved in broadcasting, journalism and public affairs consultancy. She was appointed Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority in 2014 for a five-year term and currently works as Director of Policy Government Affairs and Communications for MSD (Human Health) Ireland, the pharmaceutical company.

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