Irish politician. Sean MacBride was the son of the actress Maud Gonne MacBride and Major John MacBride, who was executed by the British for his participation in the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Dublin against British rule. Educated in Paris, he was called to the bar in 1937 and in the 1940s was known for his defense of republicans fighting for Irish independence. MacBride had been involved in the 1916 uprising and was an opponent of the 1921 Treaty, which established the Irish Free State in the South but left the counties of the North tied to Great Britain. From 1936 to 1937 he was chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army, which had fought for Irish Independence. After the 1921 treaty, the IRA fought the new Irish government which had accepted the partition of the Island and then fought the British in a campaign of terror designed to force them to leave Ireland. He severed his links with the IRA in the wake of a 1939 bombing campaign in Britain.
MacBride threatened to disrupt the fabric of Irish politics by setting up the republican and radical social-reformist Clann na Poblachta (Republican Family) in 1946. He served as minister for external affairs from 1948 to 1951. A noted anti-Communist, he styled himself in the image of European Christian Democrats. For pragmatic and political reasons he kept Ireland out of NATO in 1949. Although he was minister for external affairs, MacBride played little part in the declaration of the Irish Republic in 1949. He precipitated the collapse of John Costelio's coalition government in 1951 by failing to support Noel Browne, minister for health and a member of his own Republican Party, in the Mother and Child Controversy, a church-state conflict over a nonmeans-tested public health service for women and children.
MacBride returned to the bar following the fall in 1957 of the second interparty coalition government which had continued the struggle against British control of Northern Ireland. MacBride precipitated the collapse of the coalition by proposing a motion of no confidence in the government over its handling of the mid-1950s IRA terrorist campaign against the British controlled north border campaign. He began to play an increasing role in international organizations. He was secretary-general of the International Committee of Jurists from 1963 to 1971, chairman of Amnesty International from 1961 to 1974, and U.N. commissioner in Namibia with the rank of assistant secretary-general from 1973 to 1977. In 1976 he received the Nobel Peace Prize, for his work to promote human rights and in 1977 the Lenin Peace Prize from the USSR.
Michael J. Kennedy
SEE ALSO Browne, Noel
Successor state to the Socialist Republic of Macedonia of the Yugoslav Federal Republic. The name “Macedonia” dates back to the ancient world when a Hellenic empire of that name flourished in the fourth century B.C. The precise reference of the term has changed over time, but during the nineteenth century it came to refer to a broad