Matt Cooper: O’Malley was a giant who did the state some service

The former TD and minister for justice was brave, dedicated and honourable, but he was constrained by circumstances

Des O’Malley, who died last week, was a giant of 20th-century Irish politics and he deserves to be accorded that status, no matter what some people might think of his beliefs or his methods. Picture: Derek Speirs

Much has been said and written about Des O’Malley since the announcement of his death on Wednesday. That is only right and fitting given his previous prominence and importance.

He was a politician who provoked emotional responses from his supporters, his critics and his enemies. He attracted attention to an extent that few 21st-century politicians have been able to do, because few have mattered as much.

O’Malley was a giant of 20th-century Irish politics and ...