Maurice Hayes


Life
1927- [M. N. Hayes]; b. Killough, Co. Down, son of Waterford man who fought in World War I, and Kerry girl who worked in Dublin and fled to Belfast after the Rising where he owned a pub, going on to become manager of Denver’s Hotel, Downpatrick; ed. De La Salle Brothers, Downpatrick; read English at Queen’s University, Belfast; taught for seven years in Downpatrick, and became Town Clerk; fluent Irish-speaker; followed career of civil servant, acting Permanent Secretary to the Health & Social Services, 1983-87;
 
acted as the senior Catholic civil servant at Stormont, post-Sunningdale; supplied weekly reports on politics in the “Irish Republic” to the Northern Ireland Executive, 1974; chaired Belfast Areas of Special Social Need Committee to March 1975; head of personnel for the Northern Ireland Civil Service, secretary to the County Down Gaelic Athletic Association, and a member of the Senate at Queens University in Belfast, before assuming the post of Ombudsman (Community Relations Commission) for N. Ireland on retirement;
 
resigned chair after Bloody Sunday (29 Jan. 1972); issued Sweet Killough, Let Go Your Anchor (1994), a celebration of his native community; also Minority Verdict (1995), recording ‘the experiences of a Catholic public servant’; issued a second part of his autobiography as Black Puddings with Slim (1996); member of Patton Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland, Chairman of Northern Ireland Hospitals Review;
 
elected Senator in Oireachtas (Republic of Ireland), on nomination of Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach), 1997; Board member of Independent News & Media; a director of Regtel; governor of the Linenhall Library, Belfast; and a member of the Royal Irish Academy; Chairman of International Ireland Funds Board and Advisory Committee; Chairman of the Ireland Fund of Monaco Literary Prize and Bursary Committees (Dublin); unveiled a commemorative statue of Bryan MacMahon in Listowel during Writers’ Week, 2005.
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Works
Sweet Killough, Let Go Your Anchor
(Belfast: Blackstaff 1994; Chester Springs: Dufour 1995), 219pp. [0 85640 528 0]; Minority Verdict: Experiences of a Catholic Public Servant (Belfast: Blackstaff; Chester Springs: Dufour Edns. 1995), 336pp.; Black Puddings with Slim: A Downpatrick Boyhood (Belfast: Blackstaff 1996), 192[258]pp.

Professional reports, Community Relations and the Role of the Community Relations Commission in Northern Ireland [Runnymede Lecture 15 June, 1972] (1972), 9pp.; Conflict Research [Univ. of Ulster: Centre for the Study of Conflict Ser.; No. 2] (1990) [as Chairman,] Ireland: Look the Land is Bright: Ireland Funds Conference - Kilkenny (1990), 32pp.; National Forum on Europe - Chairman’s Report: The First Phase of Work of the National Forum on Europe, October 2001 to January 2002 (2002); A Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland?: A Review of the Police Complaints System in Northern Ireland (1996, 1997); [as Commissioner,] Recommendations for the Grouping of Wards into District Electoral Areas for the Purpose of Local Government Elections in Northern Ireland: Report by the District Electoral Areas (1992) Why Can’t They Be Like Us?: A Lecture Dedicated to the Memory of John Malone (1984).

See also his report to the Northern Executive in February 1974 on [inter alia] Conor Cruise O’Brien’s attempt to split Fianna Fail policy on the North - under O’Brien, Commentary [infra.]

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Miscellaneous, ed., The Flight Path: Writings by the Winners of the American Ireland Fund Literary Award 1972-1996 (1996), 91pp.; ‘A Tract for the Times: Lynch's poem on the North’, review of Pity for the Wicked , in The Irish Independent (q.d.) [infra].

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Criticism
Douglas Carson, review of Maurice Hayes, Sweet Killough, in Summer Books, Supplement with Fortnight, 330, Aug., p.7; Robert Greacen find much to praise in Black Pudding with Slim, in Books Ireland (Dec. 1996, p.356). See also Commentary, infra.

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Commentary
Sean MacMahon, review of Minority Verdict, in Books Ireland (Nov. 1995), p.286, Minority Report ‘not intended as autobiography’, acc. Hayes, who sees ‘the true role of the senior public servant is to exercise a challenge function, to remind the emperor that he has no clothes’.

Fergus Pyle reviews Minority Report, in The Irish Times (12.8.1995)., and quotes passages, incl. ‘What you got with Maudling was the impression of a man of massive intelligence, only partly in gear, which moved sideways towards the problem, like a crab, and then scuttled back into its hole without actually coming to grips with it.’

Marianne Elliott, ‘Besieged by rhetoric’, review of Minority Verdict, with other works on N. Ireland, in Times Literary Supplement (9 Feb. 1996), pp.4-5: There is a fair amount of parish pump stuff in Minority Report, but also a sense of the absurd and impatience with cant. It is a wonderful book, at times hilariously funny, at times despairing of the pettiness, point-scoring, double-speak and sheer ineptitude which allowed the Troubles to continue for so long. The way in which Northern Ireland has been a hostage to changing political regimes in both London and Dublin is graphically described ... Hayes’s insight into character is flawless ... All in all this compassionate book is a morality tale which should be read [&c.].’ (p.4)

C. E. Brett, review of Minority Report, in Linen Hall Review (Winter 1995-96),quotes, ‘There was in all that time no injustice, no unfairness, no degree of discrimination, that was worth the sacrifice of a single life. And the conflict, which has cost three thousand [lives], and ten times that number of maimed and injured, and tens of thousands traumatised and embittered, bas only driven the communities farther apart.’ [end; here pp.18-19.)

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Vincent Brown, ‘Educating the Irish Electorate’ , interview with Maurice Hayes, The Irish Times (12 Jan. 2002, Weekend, p.8) [gives biog., as Life, supra]; recounts that Hayes drank whiskey at the ‘wake’ of Sunningdale with Brian Faulkner and John Hume, May 1974); later head of Dept. of Health; Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and head of commission that set up the Police Ombudsmanship; chair of review of hospitals in Northern Ireland; Senator in Oireachtas (Republic of Ireland), on invitation of Bertie Ahern, 1997; Board of Independent News & Media. Brown questions him chiefly on the non-implementation of the full measures of the Patten Commission recommendations on the Northern Ireland Police Service; Hayes expresses his concern that the Special Branch members not be ‘bracketted along with the ordinary crime branch under the same assistant constable and secondly, that there shouldn’t be endless tenure that nobody should be left long [in the Special Branch] that the organisation would take on a personality of its own, separate from the rest of the force. I didn’t think we were asking for anything outlandish [...].’ Hayes suggests looking abroad for a successor to Ronnie Flanagan (NI Commissioner of Police); discusses complexities of EU Nice Treaty: ’those are the things that we are hearing. Basically, what is coming through [at the forum] is that there is no strong voice expressed against enlargement per se, that there was no antipathy to any of the applicant countries but there were serious concerns and reservations about things like neutrality and governance and about accessibility.’ Favours a referendum on the same day as the general election: ‘that’s if we are having a referendum but I don’t think it will happen.’

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Quotations
Special relationships; review of Paul Arthur, Special Relationships (2001): ‘Arthur argues, perceptively, that an agreement is only part of a peace process. He typifies everything since 1985 [Anglo-Irish Agreement] as an interim stage in the process, and opines that it is too early to say when it will come to an end. What is remarkably like Mao’s judgement [?recte Ho Chi Minh’s ] on the effects of the French Revolution.’ [END] (The Irish Times, 7 April 2001.)

Irish Republic: Official reports to to the Northern Executive (February 1974- ), held in NI Public Records Office, quoted in Margaret O’Callaghan, ‘Our Man in Dublin’ [on Hayes], Fortnight, Feb. 2005), p.8-9: ‘It seems the Irish government is living in some fear of a British withdrawal from the situation. The feeling is that if the army came under attack from Protestants, rather than be involved in a trilateral situation, there would be military pressure to which politicians, particularly Labour politicians, would rapidly succomb, to withdraw forces from Northern Ireland. It is further thought that such a withdrawl would be a fairly rapid and decisive affair. The Southern policy is therefore likely to concentrate on encouraging the British Army to stay, on encouraging Loyalists in whatever way possible to share power with the Catholics, on encouraging the Catholics to come to terms realistically with the Protestants, and on ensuring that there is a political settlement before there is any suggestion of a withdrawal.’ (See further under Conor Cruise O’Brien, infra.

The Courage of Gerry Fitt”: ‘Madam - I would like to correct the impression that may have been given by your obituary of Lord Fitt in last Saturday’s edition that I had engaged in attacking the reputation of the man before he was cold in the grave. / The obituary draws on my book Minority Verdict for remarks which are critical of Gerry Fitt, taken out of context and without the balancing quotations which would have given a more rounded view. / I would like to make it clear that I had no communication with the writer of what I otherwise found to be a comprehensive and balanced obituary. /. My own assessment of Gerry Fitt’s role in Irish politics is very close to that expressed in your own Editorial, on which I congratulate you. He was a courageous, man who cared for people and gave leadership at a difficult time in the North - for which he deserves to be recognised. Yours, &c., Maurice Hayes, Downpatrick, Co Down.’ (“Letters”, The Irish Times, 30 Aug. 2005.)

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Notes
Brian Lenihan, the Fianna Fail minister, reviewed Minority Verdict (1995), for the Irish Independent shortly before his death, calling it an ‘astute and sometimes acerbic in pithy anecdotes on a number of public personalities’ (as quoted in Blackstaff Catalogue, 1996).

Glucksman House: Maurice Hayes reads from Minority Verdict: Experiences of a Catholic Public Servant (Dufour 1995), at Glucksman Ireland House, Centre for Irish Studies at NY University, 8 May 1996.

Michael Longley’s poem “Chenec” in The Ghost Orchid (1995), p.29, is dedicated to Maurice Hayes.

Belfast: Areas of Special Social Need Committee, chaired by M. N. Hayes to March 1975 and by J. M. C. Parke from May 1975; report issued 1977.

Hospitals Review: Dr Maurice Hayes, former ombudsman and permanent sec. of Dept. of Health 1983 - 1987, chaired Acute Hospitals Review Group, with eight others senior in the medical, academic and health provision sectors; calls for focusing of accident and emergency services in nine hospitals and a downgrading of A&E services in five. (See The Irish Times, 21, June 2001.)

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