Anglo Irish speak

Quotes that defined the relationship between the two countries


“I may have signed my political death warrant tonight.” FE Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead upon signing the Anglo Irish Treaty in 1921.
“I may have signed my actual death warrant.” Michael Collins’s reply.

“The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas.”
The text of Article 2 of the 1937 Constitution. The claim to the territory of the whole island of Ireland, including Northern Ireland, was dropped following the 1998 Belfast Agreement.

“For God’s sake bring me a large scotch. What a bloody awful country.”
Northern Ireland secretary of state Reginald Maudling following a fact-finding mission to the North, July 1st, 1979.

“The British army murdered innocent civilians in Derry today. We leave the world to judge who are the real terrorists. We shall avenge the deaths of everyone killed.”
Statement from the Derry Brigade of the Provisional IRA, on Bloody Sunday, January 30th, 1972.

“I have made it quite clear – and so did Mr Prior when he was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – that a unified Ireland was one solution that is out. A second solution was confederation of two states. That is out. A third solution was joint authority. That is out.”
Margaret Thatcher, November 19th, 1984.

“The development of an agreed framework for peace, which is based on a number of key principles articulated by the two Governments over the past 20 years, together with the adaptation of other widely accepted principles, provides the starting point of a peace process designed to culminate in a political settlement.”
Downing St Declaration, December 15th, 1993

“It was very significant that we could meet as two heads of state of two countries with so many bonds in common, and with so much both in the past, and, more importantly, in the present and the future.”
Former president Mary Robinson following her meeting with Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace in May 1993.

“The conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. There is no doubt, there is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable ... on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry.”
British prime minister David Cameron apologises for Bloody Sunday, June 15th, 2010.

“To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my deep sympathy. With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.”
Queen Elizabeth II, during an addres s at Dublin Castle, May 18th, 2011.