Conor Cruise-O'Brien, former Labour Party politician and journalist, passed away in Dublin, aged 91. Years after his election to the D?il (Irish parliament) in 1969, he served as Minister for Posts & Telegraphs in a coalition government and became an outspoken critic of the Provisional IRA. As minister, Cruise-O'Brien implemented the controversial Section 31 measure which banned Sinn FZin from being interviewed on RTf, the national broadcasting service. Section 31 remained in effect until its suspension in 1993. Although he lost his D?il seat, Cruise-O'Brien served in the Seanad until 1979 and from there turned his considerable intellect to journalism. For a time he was editor-in-chief of The Observer newspaper in the UK, and he continued to write for a variety of newspapers, including a regular column in the Irish Independent. Politically he took a pro-Unionist line and was opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland. In 1996 he re-entered political life by joining the UK Unionist Party and winning election to the Northern Ireland Forum.
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