The Making of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985: Inside the room where it happened

The late David Goodall’s memoir gives a candid and gripping account of negotiations

Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and Britain’s prime minister Margaret Thatcher shake hands in November 1985, while (from left) Fine Gael TDs Peter Barry and Dick Spring look on. Photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and Britain’s prime minister Margaret Thatcher shake hands in November 1985, while (from left) Fine Gael TDs Peter Barry and Dick Spring look on. Photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed by the taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald, and the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, in November 1985.

It provided, in an internationally binding treaty, that if in the future a majority of the people of Northern Ireland wished for and formally consented to the establishment of a united Ireland, the two governments would introduce and support in their respective parliaments legislation to give effect to that wish.

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