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(...)

SDLP members Seamus Mallon,  Joe Hendron, Eddie McGrady and  John Hume, the party leader, leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. Photograph: Jack McManus / The Irish Times

DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson and former SDLP leader John Hume feature in previously confidential files from 1985 released today by th(...)

Our TDs are often written off as mere ‘messenger boys’, but is their behaviour much different from that of parliamentary representatives in other countries?

The following quote appears in the autobiography of a former Irish cabinet minister: “Foreign colleagues were amazed in an interval of some internatio(...)

 Margaret Thatcher and her German counterpart Helmut Kohl in April 1983. Photograph:   Keystone/Getty Images

The lady was not for turning, we were reminded on Margaret Thatcher’s passing. Except on German unification, where the lady reserved the right (...)