New book reveals Pat Bradley’s key elections role

The Derry man who ran the elections in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, before going on to work as an advisor around the world, has written a book about his experiences.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th May 2022, 9:25 am

‘Ballots, Bombs and Bullets’ is the memoir of former NI Chief Electoral Officer Pat Bradley and is published by Colmcille Press.

The book chronicles the story of how someone with no background and very little training in electoral law and process found himself in charge of NI’s elections at its most challenging time and, in the process, became a recognised world expert.

Pat was appointed Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland in 1980. A series of key elections affecting NI’s future took place during his time in office – from the election of hunger striker Bobby Sands, in 1981, to the Forum elections in 1996 and the Good Friday Agreement referendum in 1998.

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Patrick Bradley, the former NI Chief Electoral Officer (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Pat was broadcast around the world as he announced the “71.12%” result of the referendum in footage that is still regularly screened to this day.

The book also describes how the knowledge and expertise Pat acquired in NI was highly sought after by international organisations like the United Nations and European Union in their attempts to introduce or enhance democracy in areas of conflict.

○ ‘Ballots, Bombs and Bullets’ is available to purchase locally at Little Acorns Bookstore, Foyle Street, Foyle Books, Craft Village, and online.