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Old 15th May 2017, 23:01   #1 (permalink)
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Brendan Duddy - unsung hero dead.

Never heard of the guy but it looks like he was a major player in resolving the troubles, so RIP Brendan Duddy

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Brendan Duddy owned a chip shop in the strongly Republican area of Derry City.

Shortly before Bloody Sunday in January 1972, Duddy was approached by a senior Catholic RUC officer and was asked to contact the IRA and the Provisional IRA to remove their weapons from the Bogside area of the city.

Duddy completed the task, although he warned the officer Frank Lagan, following Bloody Sunday on January 30, 1972 where British Paratroops shot dead 14 civil rights marchers that 'we are going to have all out war on our hands'.

At the time, Lagan had employed the then-unknown Martin McGuinness as a delivery driver - who was also a rapidly rising figure in the IRA.

This link was to provide crucial to the future secret negotiations between the IRA and the British government.

In 1973, MI6 agent Michael Oatley made contact with Duddy, establishing the top secret back channel.

This conduit allowed messages to pass between the Government and the IRA to build up trust and eventually lead to direct talks.

The first talks were held in 1974-1975 and led to a short ceasefire which was wrecked by continuing loyalist violence.

Later talks were held at the time of the Hunger Strikes in 1980-81 where ten prisoners - including Bobby Sands - died.

Despite continuing setbacks and the growing death toll, Mr Duddy continued to host talks at his home between MI6 and republican leaders - including Martin McGuinness.

In 1994, the IRA declared a cease fire which led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.


Read more: Secret Northern Ireland peacemaker laid to rest | Daily Mail Online
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