In Albert Reynolds: Risktaker for Peace, Conor Lenihan takes the reader on a journey through the former Taoiseach’s fascinating life. From his early days in Roscommon, Reynolds’ determination and hard work saw him rise from a humble clerical job with Irish Rail to become one of Ireland’s best-known showbiz promoters. But it is as creator of the template for peace on the island of Ireland that he, deservedly, will be best remembered.
Reynolds’ extraordinary progress from the cut-throat world of business to local politics, and, ultimately, government ministries, was driven by the entrepreneurial spirit and impatience that became the hallmark of his success and his failure. Appointed as Taoiseach in 1992, by 1994 he had been drummed out of office, yet in that brief period he confounded his critics by fast-tracking an end to the violence of the Troubles, with the IRA and Loyalist ceasefires.
In the first complete biography of Reynolds, former Minister of State Conor Lenihan delivers an insider’s account that reveals the courageous personal risks Reynolds took to create the template for peace in Ireland, and the highs and lows of a tempestuous, risk taking life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Conor Lenihan has significant business and political experience. During his career as a journalist and a fourteen-year stint in politics, he worked and became friends with Albert Reynolds, who co-opted him, behind the scenes, to help with the peace process. Lenihan’s first book, the bestselling Haughey: Prince of Power, was published in 2015. He is a member of one of Ireland’s best-known political families: his grandfather P.J., father Brian senior, brother Brian junior and aunt Mary O’Rourke all served as either ministers or Dáil deputies.
Praise for Albert Reynolds
‘Aside from a providing a compelling portrait of Reynolds and his career, the book also leaves an impression – deliberately or not – of nostalgia. Nostalgia for both a different era for Fianna Fáil and for a time when relations between Britain and Ireland, and people on this island, were getting better not worse.’
Matthew O’Toole, The Irish Times
‘…the most interesting passages in the book record in great detail his [Reynolds] determination to overcome all the many reverses in order to bring about a negotiated settlement between the British governments and the IRA. The combination of his business acumen and down-to-earthness proved invaluable, as did his pragmatism, patience and prudent exercise of charm.’
Roy Greenslade, Belfast Media Group
‘a highly readable biography.’
John Bruton, Irish Examiner