Peter Barry, then minister for foreign affairs,  in his office at Iveagh House in 1985. Photograph: Jack McManus

Garret FitzGerald deserves more credit than anybody else for the Anglo-Irish Agreement, according to Peter Barry, who himself played an important role(...)

Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey signs copies of the New Ireland Forum’s report in May 1984. Haughey initially opposed the subsequent Anglo-Irish Agreement. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Every major political breakthrough requires significant imagination and courage. The Anglo-Irish Agreement was Margaret Thatcher’s Nixon to China mome(...)

 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(...)

Former Northern Ireland secretary of state Peter Brooke MP, right, chats with fellow MP Peter Temple-Morris in  Killarney at the 22nd British-Irish Inter Parliamentary conference which is taking place in 2001. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

This book is about events in the life of a politician. It is not an an autobiography but a selection of events of interest to a reader, ranging fro(...)

File photograph of Sir Geoffrey Howe speaking at the House of Commons in London. Photograph: PA

British prime minister David Cameron has led tributes to former chancellor Geoffrey Howe, who has died aged 88. The Tory grandee was Margaret Thatcher(...)

Garret Fitzgerald and Margaret Thatcher with  ministers Peter Barry, Dick Spring,  Geoffrey Howe, and Tom King at the the signing of the Anglo Irish Agreement at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, in November 1985. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The scene: Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland. The time: the morning of Friday, November 15th, 1985. The atmosphere: “nervous cheerfulness.” Noises(...)

Laugh out loud: Imelda Staunton has a girls’ night in Pride

One terrific scene among many terrific scenes in the consistently terrific Pride finds a political activist entering a record label’s offices to reque(...)

Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister Northern Ireland , speaking to Brian O’Driscoll and  Amy Huberman at the banquet held at Windsor Castle during the state visit of President Higgins. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

In his account in his memoirs of the day he became the first Irish head of government to address MPs and peers in the Palace of Westminster sev(...)

Dr Garret FitzGerald signs the Anglo-Irish Agreement with former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

The Margaret Thatcher whom I first met as minister for foreign affairs in the spring of 1975, shortly after her election as leader of the Conservat(...)

Fifteen years on and the sight of Northern Irish politicians walking up to the door of 10 Downing Street – once a staple for television bulleti(...)