Conduct Unbecoming is a landmark political memoir from one of Ireland’s most outspoken and respected public figures, Desmond O’Malley.
Born in Limerick in 1939, Desmond O’Malley went on to become the youngest Minister for Justice in Irish history and the founder of the Progressive Democrats, a hugely influential party in Irish politics. In this groundbreaking memoir, O’Malley recounts in funny, caustic and probing detail the stories, ideas and personalities of his political career.
O’Malley leapt to prominence in 1970 as Jack Lynch’s young and fiercely principled Minister for Justice. His role in the Arms Crisis, recalled here, earned him the enmity of Charles Haughey, whose leadership of Fianna Fáil he attempted first to prevent, then challenge for the best part of a decade.
Unable to arrest the Fianna Fáil’s slow retreat from what he saw as the high watermark of Jack Lynch’s leadership, O’Malley was finally ejected from the party in 1985 following his acclaimed ‘I stand by the republic’ address. He would found the Progressive Democrats several months later.
Candid, combative and entertaining, Conduct Unbecoming is the must-read compelling account of Desmond O’Malley’s extraordinary career.
Desmond O’Malley has given us a book that deserves a place on the short shelf of books written by Irish political leaders which gives us a genuine historical insight into the often murky realities of Irish political and commercial life. Tom Garvin, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University College Dublin
Books by political insiders are too rare in Ireland. Good ones rarer still. This is one of the best. James Downey, Irish Independent
The political autobiography of the year. Limerick Leader
Unlike many other recent political memoirs, this book pulls few punches … as an author his lack of tact, has translated into an asset. Gerard Howlin, Irish Examiner
A significant book by a formidable politician from a remarkable period in our history Pat Rabbitte TD
This is a book that anyone interested in modern politics must read. Justine McCarthy, The Sunday Times