Dr Niall O Dochartaigh, lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway and author of books and articles on the politics of conflict in Northern Ireland including a seminal study of the escalation of conflict in the early years of the Troubles (‘Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the birth of the Irish Troubles’)’ and ‘Back-Channel Negotiation in the Irish Peace Process’ a recent study drawing on the Duddy papers to understand the dynamics of covert negotiation.
Seán Ó hUiginn is a former senior Irish diplomat who was deeply involved in the Irish government contribution to the peace process. He headed the team of Irish diplomats at the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast in the late 1980s. As head of the Anglo-Irish Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1991 to 1997 he was involved in the negotiation of the 1993 Downing Street Declaration and the 1995 Framework Document during a period that saw both the IRA and loyalist paramilitary groups ending their campaigns and the establishment of an inclusive talks process open to all parties. He subsequently served as the Irish Ambassador to the United States.
Michael Oatley is a former senior British government official who was centrally involved in attempts to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the Northern Ireland conflict over a period of more than twenty years during which time he continuously maintained contact with Brendan Duddy.
Prof. Paul Arthur, Honorary Associate at the International Conflict Research Centre (INCORE), and former Professor of Politics at the University of Ulster, is the author of five books – including Special Relationships: Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland problem (2001) – and circa seventy peer-reviewed articles. He has extensive media experience in Ireland, Britain and the United States including two years as an op-ed writer for the Irish Times as well as being Ulster Television’s regular political analyst. He has contributed to the Times, New York Times, Observer, Sunday Independent and Guardian. In 1997-98 he held a Senior Fellowship at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington DC where his research was in Track Two Diplomacy. He was the Jefferson Smurfit Distinguished Fellow in Irish Studies at the University of Missouri (2000). Since 1990 he has participated in many Track Two initiatives with Northern Ireland’s political parties in Europe, the United States and South Africa.