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(...)

 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(...)

Garret  FitzGerald  with Mr Tip O’Neill (right), speaker of the US House of Representatives, and congressman Dan Rostenkowaki  at Dromland Castle, Co Clare in 1984. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

‘Your paper is Dublin? That’s south of the Border, right?” This was Governor Ronald Reagan, in an interview in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 10th, 1(...)

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 (...)

Former Northern Ireland police ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan: claims that ‘hundreds and hundreds’ of deaths happened in the North as a result of security force collusion. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The British government must face up to its responsibilities in the face of “overwhelming evidence of collusion”, a Northern Ireland victims’ group and(...)

US president Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, in the Ronald Reagan Pub in Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, in 1984. Photograph: Pat Langan

The Garda Síochána exceeded its powers in detaining a group of women protesters for the duration of US president Ronald Reagan’s visit to Dublin in (...)

Seán Donlon, Irish ambassador to the US during US president Ronald Reagan’s visit to Ireland in 1984. Photograph: Frank Miller

The opposition in Ireland to US president Ronald Reagan’s visit in 1984 made little impact in the White House, documents from the Department of Foreig(...)

When then US president Bill Clinton (left) decided to issue a visa to Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams in 1994, then British prime minister John Major (right) would not speak to him and  “the British were incandescent with rage”,  former Irish diplomat Sean Donlon said.

Tim O’BrienBritish prime minister John Major refused to speak to US president Bill Clinton for weeks after the US granted a visa to Gerry Adams in 199(...)

Ronan Mullen accused the Coalition Government of engaging in spin.

Senator Ronan Mullen (Independent) warned a “sad new chapter’’ would open in Irish life if the Government forced the Protection of Life During Pregnan(...)

It is understood that Sean Donlon will resign his corporate directorships when he joins the EBRD in mid-July. He will also forgo his public pension for the duration of his appointment. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The Government is preparing to appoint Seán Donlon, former chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs, to Ireland’s seat on the board of the European (...)