Michael Lillis

24 results

Taoiseach Garret FtizGerald and  British prime minister Margaret Thatcher signing  the Anglo-Irish agreement. “We will have to work with the British and they with us to get out of the present unfortunate situation.” Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Through years spent operating at the top of Anglo-Irish relations, Irish ex-diplomat Séan Ó hUigínn detected what he sees as a curious gap in British (...)

The Israeli ambassador said he told Ian Paisley obtaining arms ‘could be dealt with only between Governments’, according to files. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Ireland’s former ambassador to Britain Noel Dorr reported to Dublin on a curious conversation he had in June 1985 with the Israeli ambassador in Londo(...)

Unionist leaders the Rev Ian Paisley and James Molyneaux. They were described respectively as a “bigot” and “inconsiderable” by the Conservative Party’s Lord Hailsham. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

During the negotiations which led to the historic Anglo-Irish Agreement signed by Garret FitzGerald and Margaret Thatcher at Hillsborough in November (...)

Northern secretary Tom King (left) with minister for foreign affairs Brian Lenihan in Dublin in September 1987. Irish officials reckoned King had “moved a considerable distance” since his “appallingly bad” start. Photograph: Kevin McMahon

1987 was an election year in both the Republic and in Britain: Charles Haughey returned to the Taoiseach’s office in March and Margaret Thatcher forme(...)

British soldiers at a look-out post near Crossmaglen, south Armagh, in November 1987. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

British officials raised the prospect of erecting a physical border along the entire frontier between Northern Ireland and the Republic 30 year ago, d(...)

Prof Ronan Fanning: Had a low tolerance for mediocrity. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The death of Ronan Fanning, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, professor emeritus of Modern History at University College Dublin and former presiden(...)

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams addresses the Sinn Féin ard fheis in 1986. Photograph: Pacemaker Belfast

The stage-management skills of Gerry Adams were remarked on in a Department of Foreign Affairs assessment of Sinn Féin’s decision to end the policy of(...)

Peter Barry, left, then minister for foreign affairs, with Tom King, then Northern Ireland secretary, in Iveagh House, Dublin, 1986. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Margaret Thatcher was complicated about Ireland. This was scarcely surprising. So many of her associations with Ireland had been negative: her falling(...)

Tough-minded negotiator: Peter Barry, left, then minister for foreign affairs, with Tom King, then Northern Ireland secretary, in Iveagh House, Dublin, 1986. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Peter Barry, who died on Friday, aged 88, had a long career in politics but will be chiefly remembered for his contribution to the Anglo-Irish Agreeme(...)

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(...)

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