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(...)

Former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave: his government followed the British lead in the 1970s. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

They might say a week is a long time in politics, but 20 years is surely a mere blink of an eye when it comes to history. The tradition of historians (...)

Denis Healey in Moscow in 1987. In the 1940s he had fought communist oppression of socialists. Photograph: Dominique Dudouble/Reuters

Unfair though it might be, the life of Denis Healey, who has died aged 98, may well be remembered as a story of what might have been. Throughout the (...)

British prime minister David Cameron: spoke of the wider benefits of EU membership as he said he would never be able to satisfy arch-Eurosceptics. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau-WPA Pool/Getty Images

British prime minister David Cameron has given his strongest indication that he is determined to keep Britain in the EU as he said there is “no doubt”(...)

British Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn holds the final regional rally in Nuneaton on September 8th. The results of the Labour leadership contest will be announced on Saturday  September 12th. Photograph: Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images

Prime minister Corbyn has a nice ring to it, at least for the more than 100,000 people who marched against Blair’s Iraq war in Dublin. We failed then.(...)

David Cameron speaking at a press conference at the end of the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau, Germany, on Monday. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

British prime minister David Cameron has said he has yet to decide if ministers will have to quit his cabinet if they choose to back the No campaig(...)

Roy Mason with soldiers on duty in the North in 1975. He was seen as the forces’ friend on the basis of his previous record as defence secretary. Photograph: PA

The British Labour politician Roy Mason, who has died aged 91, was a small and dapper but pugnacious man, whose aggressive style and pro-security serv(...)

Former UK Labour cabinet minister Roy Mason, who served as Northern Ireland secretary at the height of the Troubles, has died aged 91. Photograph: PA Wire.

Former UK Labour cabinet minister Roy Mason, who served as Northern Ireland secretary at the height of the Troubles, has died aged 91.Dan Jarvis, Labo(...)

Campaign trail: prime minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron with  members of Sainsbury’s digital technology team in London, yesterday. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Five years ago, Gordon Brown stayed in Downing Street while negotiations that led to the formation of a new government in the wake of a hung parliamen(...)

John Freeman, who has died aged 99, was in turn an advertising copywriter, an army major and war hero, a Labour politician and minister, an incisive t(...)