Former US president Bill Clinton stands next to Seamus Mallon along with former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble and one time British prime minister Tony Blair in September 1998. Photograph: Paul/Faith/Pacemaker Press

I first met Seamus Mallon in the late ’70s in London, where he had come to lobby the Labour Party, at that time dependent for its House of Commons maj(...)

Dominic Cummings: His new focus reflects the passions developed in his bunker: putting science at the heart of government and ensuring that the government machine delivers what the politicians promise. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

When Boris Johnson walked through the front door of Number 10 on July 26th, 2019, the British political system was in a state of Brexit-induced paraly(...)

 The disgraced late Bishop Peter Ball liked to name-drop Prince Charles, we learn in the BBC’s Exposed: The Church’s Darkest Secret

Church cover-ups, nod-and-wink policing and sexual abuse sound like the raw ingredients in a stereotypically Irish scandal. So it is revealing – “nove(...)

September 1968: Dubliner Joan O’Connell, addresses  Britain’s Trade Union Congress in Blackpool  on a motion on equal pay for equal work, which she described as “undoubtedly the oldest wage claim of the trade union movement”.

In September 1968 Joan O’Connell, a Dublin trade unionist, made an impassioned speech at Britain’s Trade Union Congress in Blackpool. She was speakin(...)

One Washington-based letter writer wrote several times to taoiseach Charles Haughey, urging him to use the writings of L Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Chris Ware/Getty Images

Scientology could have ended the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Encouraging the mass migration of Irish citizens from the Republic to Northern Ireland (...)

Brian Lenihan, Charles Haughey and Michael O’Kennedy at a press conference following a Haughey-Margaret Thatcher summit meeting in Dublin in December 1980. File photograph: Tom Lawlor

The latest release of official documents under the 30-year rule contains some fascinating information about what went on behind the scenes in governme(...)

Minister for foreign affairs David Andrews and Northern Secretary Peter Brooke.

Former Northern Ireland secretary of state Peter Brooke confided in an Irish diplomat that he had a subscription for the republican newspaper An Phobl(...)

Northern secretary James Prior and minister for justice Michael Noonan at Iveagh House, Dublin, in 1984. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Presumably the Anglo-Irish desk at the Department of Foreign Affairs was a clearing house for gossip, insights and even some kites, leaks and scoops t(...)

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and taoiseach Charles Haughey on the steps of 10 Downing Street, London, in May 1980. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

Margaret Thatcher felt “quite natural” with Charlie Haughey and there was “a lot to be played for between them”, a senior Conservative adviser told an(...)

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher sometimes reacted in a ‘petulant and dismissive way’ when officials tried to engage her on Northern Ireland affairs. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Margaret Thatcher “switches off” when Northern Ireland comes up during discussions with her officials in Downing Street, an Irish diplomat reported ba(...)

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