Then  Northern Ireland secretary of state Humphrey Atkins (centre), with minister for justice Gerry Collins (left) and  minister for foreign affairs Michael O’Kennedy. Photograph: Pat Langan

Official secret memos contained in the Thatcher Foundation papers on the 1981 hunger strikes point to a convicti(...)

 Northern secretary  Humphrey Atkins sent a secret official minute to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981 saying elements of the provisional leadership were prepared to “consider an end of the current terrorist campaign”.

The British government as far back as 1981 believed there were elements in the leadership of the provisional republican movement who were prepared (...)

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(...)