WHEN THEN-HEALTH Minister Charles Haughey went to visit Iraq in 1978, he tried to arrange a meeting with the effective head of the country.
Unfortunately for Haughey, Saddam Hussein was unable to meet him.
Papers from the trip, which included trips to Iraqi hospitals and attempts to sell medical supplies to Iraq, form part of the State Papers released this year.
The papers reveal that an arrangement was planned to swap medical resources between the two countries and that there was a ‘striking political goodwill’ towards Ireland from Iraq.
They do, however concede that Iraq was a “difficult” market.
Accompanied by Liam Lawlor, Haughey met with high-ranking officials and gave a speech to a medical college, where he said that Iraq was, in some ways, more advanced than Ireland in terms of medical practice.