Garret FitzGerald wished to speak in French when addressing the Institut Français des Relations Internationales in Paris. Photograph:  Matt Kavanagh

An offer of assistance to then taoiseach Garret FitzGerald with his speechwriting and French was firmly rejected, according to a document from the tao(...)

David Norris, left, and Geoffrey Dudgeon of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association. Photograph: Pat Langan

The government considered using Aids as an argument to retain laws that outlawed homosexual acts, in preparation for a case at the European Court of H(...)

 Garret FitzGerald with Nuala Fennell, who was the minister of state for women’s affairs. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald had agreed to host a State reception for charitable organisation Soroptimist International, but when he could no longer do(...)

The government authorised the minister for foreign affairs  to submit the harp and shamrock to the World Intellectual Property Organisation for registration as trademarks. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The registration of the harp and the shamrock as Irish emblems was delayed because of a row between departments over who should carry the costs. The(...)

Seán Lemass with Dr Jeremiah Newman (left) and the Very Rev Maurice Morrissey (in 1963):  Dr Newman said Catholic politicians were “not entitled to follow their consciences in a void, as though a teaching authority did not exist in the Catholic Church”. Photograph: Tommy Collins

FIONA GARTLAND Confidential notes from officials working at the Irish Embassy to the Holy See reveal concerns over legislation liberalising the acces(...)

Karen Gearon, shop steward of the striking Dunnes Stores workers, receiving a cheque for $1,000 from Seán Mac Bride, on behalf of the Irish-American Trade Union Coalition, in Dublin in May 1985. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Government ministers and officials struggled during 1985 to find a way of dealing with the political controversy generated by a group of Dunnes Store(...)

 Rev Ian Paisley (centre) and Peter Robinson (second from left)  in  the  early 1980s. Photograph: Pacemaker

The “steam has run out” of then DUP leader Ian Paisley in 1985, but his deputy, Peter Robinson remained a “dangerous man”, according to then minister (...)

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(...)

John Junor: understood to have apologised ‘to some extent’ for  remark in ‘Sunday Express’ article

An article written by the editor of the Sunday Express asking “wouldn’t you rather admit to being a pig than be Irish?” resulted in an apology “to som(...)

 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(...)