A HISTORY DOCUMENTARY to be shown tomorrow night on TG4 will reveal how Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O’Neill said he regretted Donegal was not part of the Northern state.
The Down-born civil servant TK Whitaker, who was one of the closest advisers to both Sean Lemass and Jack Lynch during their time in government in the 50s and 60s, tells how he was responsible for setting up the first State talks between the Republic and Northern Ireland after partition as he had developed a friendship with Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O’Neill.
And he said the topic of Donegal was humourously discussed between Taoiseach Seam Lemass and O’Neill during their ground-breaking lunch meeting in 1967.
He said: “Sean Lemass had a very good innings there. He was told by Terence O’Neill was what he really regretted was that the six counties were only six counties and the county he liked best of all, Donegal, was outside their scope. ‘Oh’, says Lemass, ‘You can have Donegal if you take [Neil] Blaney with it’.”
‘TK Whitaker — Seirbhiseach an Stait’ will be shown on TG4 tomorrow at 8.15pm