Joe Dolan, Conor Cruise O’Brien and the Springboks all have one thing in common - they’re all part of the story of Ireland’s strange history with Apartheid South Africa.
Today is Nelson Mandela’s Birthday - and while many will recall the famous Dunnes Stores strike - the story of the Anti-Apartheid movement in Ireland did not begin or end there.
Nelson Mandela, Madiba, was born on this day in 1918. In his own way, he is a part of the history of this city, coming here in 1990 - not long after his release from prison - to personally accept the Freedom of the City of Dublin. It’s quite touching and comical that Mandela’s handwritten speech survives, there is the seriousness of his words that "my wife and I are moved by the fact that of the many honours conferred on us whilst we were in prison, Dublin was the first Capital City to give us its Freedom. We have come here to express or personal thanks to you for the pioneering role you have played in the Anti-Apartheid struggle." Then, scribbled in pen, are the words "Congratulations also to your wonderful football team."