Lord Robert Armstrong, cabinet secretary under Mrs Thatcher and one of  key negotiators of the  agreement,  at an event marking the agreement’s 30th anniversary in  Trinity College Dublin last November. Photograph: Eric Luke

During the framing of the historic Anglo-Irish Agreement of November 1985, Garret FitzGerald took the opportunity of a joint meeting in Lisbon to comp(...)

The late DUP leader  Ian Paisley: said he had urged SDLP leader John Hume to start talking with other political leaders. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

The late Democratic Unionist Party leader Rev Ian Paisley was rebuked by Northern Ireland secretary of state Douglas Hurd in 1984 after Dr Paisley ha(...)

Garret FitzGerald shakes hands with  Margaret Thatcher during talks in November 1985. Photograph: Pat Langan

Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, confided to the Irish ambassador Noel Dorr that before the 1983 election, she had “very m(...)

Peter Robinson: A one-time head of the Northern Ireland civil service described him as “somewhat scary.”Photo : Brian Lawless/PA Wire

During his four decades in Northern Ireland politics, Peter Robinson was seen as a cold fish rather than a people person, a figure who unlike his long(...)

 Margaret Thatcher, flanked by Sir Geoffrey Howe and Tom King, waving goodbye after the signing of the agreement. Photograph: Pat Langan

I have a vivid recollection of what it felt like that day as I watched the prime minister and the taoiseach put their signatures to an agreement betwe(...)

James Molyneaux said it would be a disastrous mistake for the chief constable to respond by taking on the main body of respectable marchers. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea

Unionists accepted in the mid-1980s there were too many “kick the pope” bands getting involved in Orange marches, according to files released in Belf(...)

Key players: former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbatchev, former US president George Bush and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl

329 days. Eleven months between the opening of the Wall and the “day of German unity”, the day when the two Germanys came together formally as (...)

Loyalists taking part in the Orange Order protest rally against the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, in 1986. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / The Irish Times

The key roles of secretary of state Douglas Hurd and RUC chief constable Sir Jack Hermon in the RUC decision to re-route a controversial Orange parad(...)

Douglas Hurd: RUC report, presented to the NI secretary in December 1984, reveals a housewife’s death occurred during alleged rioting on the Falls Road in 1981. Photograph: Frank Miller

A confidential police report into the killing of an innocent civilian, Norah McCabe, by a plastic bullet fired from an RUC Land Rover at the height o(...)

At the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985: Peter Barry, Dick Spring, Garret FitzGerald, Margaret Thatcher, Geoffrey Howe and Tom King

Declassified state papers released today reveal mixed and even negative feelings towards the impending Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985 on the part of t(...)