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28 Jan 2022
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Obituary: Cosmo Haskard

Lives remembered: Falklands' hero Sir Cosmo Haskard (1916 – 2017)

ONE of the reasons Cosmo Haskard was attracted to the role of governor of the Falkland Islands was that it reminded him of his childhood summers in Cork.
PUBLISHED: 12:21, Sat, Mar 11, 2017 | UPDATED: 12:45, Sat, Mar 11, 2017

Sir Cosmo Haskard was governor of the Falkland Islands.

But if he thought he would be able to while away his time fishing and sailing he was sadly mistaken.

A few years after his appointment in 1964, Harold Wilson's Labour government began formulating a secret deal to give Argentina ownership of the Falklands with little regard for the 2,000 islanders.

Although the Foreign Office planned to issue a unilateral accompanying statement expressing respect for their wishes, that wasn't good enough for Haskard and he took up the islanders' fight.

Haskard took up the islanders' fight First he fired off a series of letters and telegrams protesting that the islanders were being kept in the dark about their future and cited "their lack of knowledge of and aversion to Argentina, and their very English outlook".

When these went unheeded he returned to London to meet the foreign secretary George Brown to present his case in person.

But feeling that his message was still not getting through Haskard decided to go against orders and inform the islanders of the deal.

Sir Haskard decided to go against orders and inform the islanders of the deal with Argentina Members of the islands' executive council were outraged and wrote to every MP to voice their disapproval.

The Daily Express published a famous photograph of a large crowd proclaiming its loyalty to Britain beside the Whalebone Arch in Stanley on the Falkland Islands.

Such was the resistance that in the end Britain and Argentina failed to reach an agreement and the islanders were promised that the Falklands would never be transferred without their consent. Cosmo Dugal Patrick Thomas Haskard was born in Dublin and educated at Cheltenham College before graduating from Sandhurst military academy.

He joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers on the outbreak of the Second World War and after he was demobilised spent time in the colonial service across Africa.

He became governor of what later became Malawi before being posted to the Falklands where he remained until 1970, returning to Cork in 1972.

Knighted in 1965 Haskard is survived by his wife Phillada and son Julian