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(...)

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(...)

SDLP team, from left: Seamus Mallon, Joe Hendron,  Eddie McGrady and  John Hume. Photograph: Jack McManus

A secret meeting between senior members of the government and the SDLP four days before the Anglo-Irish Agreement was unveiled was described by Seamus(...)

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(...)

At an Anglo-Irish Agreement 25th anniversary reception at the Irish embassy London were Michael Lillis, Sean Donlon, Noel Dorr, Tony Brennan(seated), Lord Robert Armstrong, Robert Andrews and David Goodall

Among the most pivotal conversations in the recent history of Anglo-Irish relations came between two relatively obscure officials during a walk along (...)

 Taoiseach Dr Gatret FtizGerald and the British prime minister Margaret Thatcher at the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Hillsborough Castle, Co Down. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

It was shortly before 8am on the morning of November 15th, 1985, and I was one of a group of journalists who gathered at Dublin airport for a flight t(...)

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

The Anglo-Irish Agreement of November 15th, 1985 was formally abjured by the British and Irish governments on April 10th, 1998 as a key concession to (...)

The Divis Flats in west Belfast before their demolition. Photograph: Pacemaker

The Irish government of Garret FitzGerald was keen to see the demolition of the Divis Flats complex in west Belfast as an early fruit of the Anglo-Iri(...)

Unionists Christopher and Michael McGimpsey: took out legal case in Dublin. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

The “McGimpsey case” that challenged the legality of the Anglo-Irish Agreement concerned the British government in 1987, declassified files reveal. In(...)