Seán MacBride Biography

Government Official, Diplomat, Activist(1904–1988)
Sean MacBride was an Irish politician and the former chief of staff of the IRA

Synopsis

Sean MacBride was born on January 26, 1904, in Paris, France. He was educated in Ireland where he joined the Irish Volunteers and became chief of staff of the IRA at age 24. In 1946, MacBride founded the republican/socialist party Clann na Poblachta. During MacBride's career, he served in numerous international political positions and was a founding member of Amnesty International. MacBride won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974. He died in 1988.

Career With the IRA

Born on January 26, 1904, in Paris, France, Seán MacBride was the only son of Major John MacBride, and revolutionary and feminist Maud Gonne. After his father was executed following the Easter Rising of 1916, MacBride was sent to be educated in Ireland where he joined the Irish Volunteers. The young MacBride was imprisoned several times for IRA activities and was chief of staff of the organization at age 24.

In 1946, Seán MacBride began his political career by founding the republican/socialist party Clann na Poblachta. He served as minister of external affairs, president of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe, and vice president of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation. In the latter capacity, MacBride was responsible for Ireland's decision to not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Later Career

In 1961, Seán MacBride retired from politics and became involved in several non-governmental organizations. He was a founding member of Amnesty International and served as its international chairman from 1961 to 1974. He was also elected president of the International Peace Bureau. MacBride served several appointments for the United Nations, including as assistant secretary-general and president of the UN General Assembly.

MacBride is the recipient of a number of prestigious humanitarian awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974, the American Medal for Justice in 1975, the Lenin Peace Prize in 1975 and the UNESCO Silver Medal in 1980.

Seán MacBride died in Dublin, Ireland, on January 15, 1988.

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