Eamon Delaney

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Eamon Delaney (born 14 July 1962) is an Irish newspaper columnist,[1] author,[2] editor,[3] novelist,[4] journalist[5] and former diplomat.[6][7][8] Delaney's best-selling memoir of life as an Irish diplomat produced a series of public scandals about the conduct of Ireland's foreign affairs.[9][7]

Delaney attended University College Dublin (UCD). He was Auditor of the Literary and Historical Society from 1985 to 1986. He served Ireland as a diplomat from 1987 until 1995.[10] after leaving the diplomatic corps, he became a full-time author; his first novel, The Casting of Mr. O'Shaughnessy was published in 1985, and republished in 2002.[11][12] His next book, an account of his eight years as a diplomat, An Accidental Diplomat: My Years in the Irish Foreign Service 1987–1995 was widely discussed.[13][14] Irish journalist Thomas O'Dwyer describes Delaney's wit as "wicked" and his 2001 book An Accidental Diplomat as having been, "a runaway bestseller."[15][16] Delaney writes for the Irish Independent, and on an occasional basis for The Irish Times and other outlets.

In 2004 Delaney was named editor of the Dublin news and opinion magazine, Magill Magazine, a position that continued until its closure in 2009.[3][7]

In 2009 Delaney published a book focusing on the life of his late father, the sculptor Edward Delaney entitled Breaking the Mould.[8][17][18][19]

O'Shaughnessy hoax[edit]

In 1986, Delaney applied for a government pension to be granted to Cornelius O'Shaughnessy, fictional hero of Delaney's novel The Casting of Mr. O'Shaughnessy, on the basis of the character's participation in the 1921 Irish War of Independence. Singer Gavin Friday lent Delaney the name and service details of his own grandfather, an actual veteran of 1921, to serve as the fictional O'Shaughnessy's commanding officer in the application. Delaney cited sufficient plausible historic detail in the application attracted the personal attention of Taoiseach Charles Haughey. Haughey asked Secretary of Defense Michael J Noonan to review the case, and three months later the government sent Delaney the appropriate service medals and approved the pension. Delaney revealed the hoax before the pension was actually paid.[20]

Accidental Diplomat[edit]

According to The Times of London, Delaney's Accidental Diplomat, "lifted the lid on the internal workings of the Department of Foreign Affairs."[20][21][22][23][24] The book was serialised in The Sunday Times[9] which described Delaney as "spilling the diplomatic beans."[9]

According to the Irish Times,[25] Delaney's memoir was a "surprise bestseller."[26]


The Daily Mail credits Delaney with playing a key role in securing for the Irish Museum of Modern Art the opportunity to purchase a major collection of modern being deaccessioned by the Bank of Ireland before they were put up for auction on the private market in 2010.[27] Delaney is the first cousin of Richie Boucher, chief executive of the Bank of Ireland at the time (their mothers are sisters.)[27]

In 2011, a Delaney column in the Sunday Independent in which he argued that the gay rights movement is "overreaching" in seeking the "right to marry, to adopt children, and to intimidate opponents into silence,"[28] touched off a media flap.[29][30] Those who criticised Delaney's column included actor Charlie Condou writing in The Guardian.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Delaney is married, with children.[32] Delaney's oldest child, Ciaran Wolfe Delaney, is named for Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone.[32]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ McInerney, Sarah (1 September 2013). "Seanad abolitionists set up One House campaign". The Sunday Times. London. 
  2. ^ Gibbons, James (5 April 2010). "The Dubliners Phizz over with fests to honour James Joyce". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Fay, Liam (22 August 2004). "Magazine rivals line up for fight". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Mollycoddled reputation Novelist Eamon Delaney will not be celebrating Bloomsday. The much vaunted joys of Ulysses leave him seriously unmove". The Irish Times. 12 June 1999. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Walker, Stephen (10 April 2014). "Martin McGuinness: Banquet attendance about reconciliation". BBC. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Purdy, Martina (10 July 2014). "Work may need to be done on Stormont structures". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Ambassadors are being told to revive Ireland's battered image abroad". Irish Independent. 7 March 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Dwyer, Ciara (3 January 2010). "New Tone in the art of fatherhood". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Burns, Burns (17 June 2001). "Irish diplomat leaks tale of gin and spies". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Dwer, Ryle (4 August 2007). "An Irish honours system would be a one-way road to further corruption". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Muir, P.L. (21 September 2002). "Eamon Delaney takes a second bite at the literary cherry by re- issuing his first novel, The Casting of Mr O'Shaughnessy, a satire on Irish politics in general and its republican past in particular". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "50 Books to be Won". London Sunday Mirror. 9 March 2003. 
  13. ^ a b McManus, Luke (12 July 2001). "An Accidental Diplomat by Eamon Delaney (book review)". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Dwyer, Ryle (4 August 2007). "An Irish honours system would be a one-way road to further corruption". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  15. ^ O'Dwyer, Thomas (26 September 2002). "Barrels of anthrax, no laughs". Haaretz. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Bestsellers". The Irish Times. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Enduring Irish sculpture". Village. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  18. ^ Siggins, Lorna (8 July 2013). "Sculpture donated to international artist's home town". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  19. ^ Gibbons, James (14 December 2009). "Brian takes break from The Mould". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  20. ^ a b Sheehan, Maeve (21 July 2002). "How Haughey was duped on medals for fake IRA hero:". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Callahan, Helen (1 July 2001). "Intentional slips of the tongue". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  22. ^ O'Reilly, Ronan (5 December 2001). "Gorby's a Dubliner despite royal gaffe". The Sun. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  23. ^ King, Steven (1 July 2003). "Fudge makes Republicans greedy". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Wharton, Nelson (4 July 2003). "The sad consequences of a piece of Irish skulduggery". The News Letter. Belfast. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Bestseller". The Irish Times. 28 July 2001. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  26. ^ Hegarty, Shane (3 May 2003). "Banking on history rewritten ; Hillary Clinton's autobiography is the latest in a lucrative line of political memoirs". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  27. ^ a b Gibbons, John (8 November 2010). "IMMA banks on creative approach to win the day". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  28. ^ Quinn, David (8 November 2011). "The 'trial' of Eamon Delaney". Iona Institute. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  29. ^ Flanagan, Alan (6 November 2011). "Delaney's world of straight white men is far from reality". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  30. ^ Finnegan, Brian (2 November 2011). "Eamon Delaney's attack on gay people is full of all the oldest tricks". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  31. ^ Condou, Charlie (11 November 2011). "The Three of Us". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  32. ^ a b Gibbons, James (16 November 2010). "CONGRATULATIONS to Magill editor Eamon Delaney". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  33. ^ Smyth, Ted (7 July 2001). "Playing for laughs at the expense of balance An Accidental Diplomat by Eamon Delaney". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  34. ^ Kenny, Mary (21 July 2001). "Droll and indiscreet disclosures". The Spectator. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  35. ^ Muiri, Pol O. (22 December 2001). "Eamon Delaney: An Accidental Diplomat: My Years in the Irish Foreign Service 1987–1995". World of Hibernia. 
  36. ^ Kiberd, Declan (2 January 2010). "Sculpting a life from statues". The Irish Times.