About Conor Cruise O'Brien:
Conor Cruise O'Brien was an Irish politician, writer, historian and academic. His opinion on the role of Britain in Ireland and in Northern Ireland changed during the 1970s in response to the outbreak of 'the Troubles' after 1968. He saw opposing nationalist and unionist traditions as irreconcilable and switched from a nationalist to a unionist view of Irish politics and history. O'Brien's outlook was always radical and the positions he took were seldom orthodox. He summarised his position as, "I intend to administer an electric shock to the Irish psyche". Internationally, he opposed in person the African National Congress's academic boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa and in later years also supported the state of Israel. These views contrasted with those espoused during the 1950s and 1960s.