Brendan Duddy Papers

Brendan Duddy was born in Derry on 10 June 1936. He became a businessman in his native city, and by the early 1970s he owned and managed two fish-and-chip shops, one in Beechwood Avenue (Creggan) and another in William Street. His motivation for involvement in community affairs, and eventually in behind-the-scene politics, grew out of a deep interest in politics and debate ("I have been a political analyst all my life"), and out of an upbringing in a mixed community where Protestants marginally outnumbered Catholics, a fact he highlighted when making his statement for the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in 1999. Read more about the Brendan Duddy Papers


01 - Witnessing the Civil Rights Movement, 1968-1972
01 - Witnessing the Civil Rights Movement, 1968-1972
Scope and Content:Containing most notably Bernadette Mount's diary of public/political events of 1970 to 1972, a copy of the "Barricade Bulletin" of August 1969, and further various types of documents, mostly of a later date, contextualising events. Civil Rights Era" Date: 1969 - 1999
02 - Early Involvement, 1970-1974
02 - Early Involvement, 1970-1974
Containing a variety of printed and non-printed documents, both official and private or confidential, including (business) diaries, official reports and statements, correspondence, press cuttings, pamphlets, illustrating public events and private initiatives. Most notably including a financial daybook with public events kept by Duddy and employees (1970-1972), a letter from Michael Oatley in (1974), a printed book on the state of affairs by the Provisional IRA (1973).
03 - Bloody Sunday, 1972
03 - Bloody Sunday, 1972
Containing foremostly newspaper cuttings covering the events leading up to and including Bloody Sunday. Few of them contemporary, but notably including also the Widgery Tribunal report (1972), and copies of the statements of Frank Lagan (1997) and of Brendan Duddy (1999) made to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
04 - Activities of 1975
04 - Activities of 1975
Containing mostly contemporary material, most notably a diary kept by Brendan Duddy with detailed entries on telephone calls and meetings; files of notes taken at meetings of British and PIRA members; trial security passes for provisional Republicans. Further containing items such as minutes, notes, communiqués, illustrating the ceasefire negotiations of late 1974/ early 1975, and attempts until the very end of the year to break the impasse after the ceasefire is called; also printed items such as the Gardiner Report, and reports from the last sessions of the Constitutional Convention.
05 - Activities of 1976
05 - Activities of 1976
Containing mostly contemporary material, most notably a diary kept by Brendan Duddy with entries on telephone calls and meetings, minutes of meetings of the City Centre Liaison Committee, press cuttings shared with Duddy by contacts at the Northern Ireland Office. Original box labelled "1976".
06 - Hunger strikes, 1980-1981
06 - Hunger strikes, 1980-1981
Containing some original documents of 1981 concerning the IRA hunger-strikes in Belfast, and press cuttings and other material of 20 to 25 years later that concern mostly Richard O'Rawe's claims of 2005. Contemporary material contains most notably the 'Red Book' and other disparate notes arising from negotiations during the summer of 1981; letters from Michael Oatley seeking to maintain the contact. Original box labelled "Hunger strikes 1980-1981. NB. 22 - UDR/RUC were killed by IRA during the h/strikes period. 64 people killed altogether in this period.
08 - Keeping the Channel Open, 1982-1992
08 - Keeping the Channel Open, 1982-1992
Containing mostly contemporary material (original and copies) spanning a decade, half of which are press cuttings, illustrating Duddy's renewed involvement as go-between from early 1990 onwards, the continuing communications with Michael Oatley, also private contact with "Rob", and the new British contact 'Fred'/ 'Colin Ferguson'; a shift of the British government towards dialogue; Duddy's private involvement in international forum for peace and reconciliation IMUT. Original box labelled "82 onwards and 1991 and 1992".
09 - Activities February - May 1993
09 - Activities February - May 1993
Containing mostly contemporary material reflecting the manoeuvres on both sides towards a ceasefire and dialogue. It comprises most notably a series of contemporary memoranda by Brendan Duddy summarising events ("The Narrative") which were broken down into daily events to offer a chronological sequence. Titles were given to these by Duddy's son-in-laws who took dictation from him. For the other part there are also drafts and copies of messages from both the PIRA and the British government - including the counterfeit "The conflict is over" message [of 22 February], the British response in 9 paragraphs (19 March) and the PIRA's in 11 paragraphs [April], as well as their message of 10 May, with commentary on its complicated history. Original box labelled "February- May 1993". Documents span 20 February - 28 May 1993.
10 - Activities June - December 1993
10 - Activities June - December 1993
Similar to series 9, this contains excerpts made from Brendan Duddy's reports on his involvement in contemporary events ("The Narrative"), which finish in August of the period. Most notably it contains a number of messages passing between the British government and Provisional Sinn Fein, including a private message from the British representative "Fred" (3 June), and memoranda composed by Duddy, usually briefing Sinn Féin about the situation, all reflecting the attempts on both sides to agree on when to begin holding formal talks, and culminating in another counterfeit message followed by the British "Substantive Response" (2 and 5 November) which cause Duddy to be formally withdrawn from his role. Original box labelled "June- December 1993". (Documents span 1 June - 24 December 1993.)
11 - Further Involvement and Interest 1994 - 2007
11 - Further Involvement and Interest 1994 - 2007
Containing correspondence from Michael Oatley, from his first connection with Brendan Duddy as a representative of the Northern Ireland Office, and beyond his retirement in 1990. The majority of these items are listed in full only in previous series (4-11) where photocopies of these items were placed to contextualise them within the chronology of events. Original box labelled "Michael Oatley". Some items of a more private character that do not add to the record are restricted.
12 - Michael Oatley
12 - Michael Oatley
Containing correspondence from Michael Oatley, from his first connection with Brendan Duddy as a representative of the Northern Ireland Office, and beyond his retirement in 1990; increasingly private matters are discussed also (some items are restricted). The majority of these items are listed in full only in previous series (4-11) where photocopies of these items were placed to contextualise them within the chronology of events. Original box labelled "Michael Oatley".
15 - "Walter"
15 - "Walter"
This contains items pertaining to "Walter" (Martin McGuinness), and particularly his and Duddy's period of close co-operation in 1993, and Duddy's continued role as friend of the Republican movement. Including items of correspondence and memoranda by Brendan Duddy for McGuinness, relevant newspaper cuttings. Many of these items are the originals of documents listed before, in the chronologically arranged series above (especially series 11). Original box labelled "Walter".
16 - "Fred"
16 - "Fred"
Containing correspondence from MI 5-agent "Fred" [alias "Colin Ferguson"/"Robert McLaren or McLarnon"], memoranda dealing with him, and press cuttings regarding him. However, see POL35/334 for "Fred"'s last message to Duddy (24 December 1993). Many of these items are originals the copies of which were placed in the chronologically arranged series previous to this (especially series 11). Original box labelled "Fred".
17 - "Star"
17 - "Star"
Containing mostly press material concerning the role played by Brendan Duddy's close associate Denis Bradley; also comprising letter from Brendan Duddy to Bradley referring to his revelations to the press. Original box labelled "Star".
18 - Policing: General interest, and membership of Northern Ireland Policing Board, 1999 -2008
18 - Policing: General interest, and membership of Northern Ireland Policing Board, 1999 -2008
Scope and Content:Containing mostly reports and memoranda in circulation with suggestions for a reform of the Northern Ireland police service; dating to as early as 1974/1975 and 1998/1999, when such proposals were being considered by the British government and opinions were sought from all interest groups. Testifying to Duddy's early interest in the matter. Some documents witness Duddy's own involvement: asked to contribute opinion in 1998 to the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland; invitations to Royal Ulster Constabulary functions; his participation in an SDLP-seminar on policing in 2009. There is little from his membership on the Northern Ireland Policing Board. Original box labelled "Policing". Documents span early 1970s-2009. Date:early 1970s - 2009 Extent:27 items
20 - Film Archives - Interviews with Brendan Duddy
20 - Film Archives - Interviews with Brendan Duddy
This is ancillary material for the collection, comprised of four DVDs with interviews conducted with Brendan Duddy in 2009. The following production titles apply to all four. Production, research and interviews: Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh Director and editor: Mick Ruane Camera: Mark Bryne

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