About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Biography: Padraig O'Malley

Padraig O'Malley was born in Dublin Ireland in 1942. He was educated at University College, Dublin, and at Yale, Tufts and Harvard universities in the United States.

For most of his professional life he has been involved with the conflict in Northern Ireland. Working with all the political parties to the conflict he convened the Amherst Conference on Northern Ireland (Massachusetts, 1975), the Airlie House Conference (Virginia, 1985) and co–convened the Arniston Conference with the government of South Africa (Western Cape, 1997). He was also a member of the Opshal Commission, which authored the report "Northern Ireland: A Citizens' Inquiry" (Belfast, 1993).

He is the author of a number of prize winning books on Northern Ireland including The Uncivil Wars: Ireland Today (1983) Biting at the Grave (1990), and Questions of Nuance (1990).

Among his other books are: Southern Africa: The People's Voices, (Ed.), 1999; Uneven Paths: Advancing Democracy in Southern Africa, (Ed.) 1994; Homelessness: New England and Beyond, (Ed.) 1990; The Aids Epidemic: Private Rights and the Public Interest, (Ed.) 1989; Irish Industry: Structure and Performance, 1971.

He was a Senior Fellow at the John W McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMB), (1980 – 2003) and founding editor of the New England Journal of Public Policy (1985 –present.) Currently, he is a Visiting Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Western Cape, SA, and Visiting Fellow at the McCormack Graduate School of Studies at UMB.

His historical collection, which includes 2,000 hours of interviews from 1989–1999 tracking South Africa's transition to democracy, is archived in written transcription and on audio tape at the Robben Island Museum/Mayibuye Archives [University of the Western Cape]. Electronic access to the historical collection, The Heart of Hope: South Africa's Transition from Apartheid to Democracy, 1989-1996, www.omalley.co.za, Learning Online, Cape Town, South Africa, 2004.

He has lectured and written extensively on the conflict on Northern Ireland; op-ed contributor to New York Times; Los Angeles Times; Philadelphia Inquirer; USA Today; Chicago Tribune; Fortnight Magazine; Irish Independent; Irish Times; the Independent (SA); The World Paper, Mail and Guardian (SA) and others. He is a periodic contributor to the Boston Globe.

His book The Making of the New South Africa: Mac Maharaj: Legend and Struggle will be published by Penguin New York in 2005.

His work has been recognized with:

The Cambridge Peace Prize, 1998.

Short listed for both Ewart Biggs Memorial Prize (a short list of five) and the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Irish Literature Prize (a short list of three) for Biting at the Grave, 1991.

Biting at the Grave selected as one of the six best non-fiction books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, 1990.

Dispute Resolution Award, University of Massachusetts Boston, 1994

International Association of University Presidents Peace Award, 1985 (shared with the late King Hussein of Jordan).

The Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award for Scholarship and the President's Award, University of Massachusetts Boston, 1985

Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize for The Uncivil Wars: Ireland Today 1985 (co-winner)

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