Introduction to the book

Alf McCreary is an award winning journalist and author who writes extensively on Irish affairs. He is an honours graduate in Modern History from the Queen's University of Belfast, and for more than two decades he was a reporter, columnist and senior feature writer on the Belfast Telegraph, where he is currently the Religion Correspondent.

Alf has also won two British National Press awards.

In mid-career, Alf left daily journalism and became the first Director of Information and Head of Information Services at Queen's University. After fourteen years, he returned to full-time writing, and he continues to contribute a weekly column and other material to the Belfast Telegraph and other publications.

Alf has written over thirty books on a wide range of subjects, ranging from documentaries and corporate histories to travelogues, biographies, commentaries on politics and community development. They include Degrees of Excellence, the story of Queen's University (with Professor Brian Walker) and Making a Difference, the history of the International Fund for Ireland. He has also written acclaimed biographies of the late Senator Gordon Wilson of Enniskillen and Lord Eames, former Archbishop of Armagh and Church of Ireland Primate.

Alf McCreary was appointed MBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours List.

Dedication

To my wife Hilary, our grandchildren Cara Rose McCreary in Belfast and Molly Tess, Thomas Joseph and Annie Niamh McCreary in Sydney