Patrick Mayhew

27 results

A letter from Downing Street to the Northern Ireland Office stated that John Major ‘would certainly not wish the government make a formal expression of regret’. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Former British prime minister John Major disagreed with his secretary of state for Northern Ireland that there should be any public admission of “regr(...)

SDLP leader John Hume with party colleague Seamus Mallon. Hume was concerned that the British government, particularly in the run-up to the Westminster general election, would be ‘unable to engineer forward movement’. File photograph: Reuters

A behind-the-scenes initiative by SDLP leader John Hume to attempt to restore the 1994 IRA ceasefire, using the medium of Protestant Church leaders, i(...)

Irish emigrants embarking for America at Waterloo Docks, Liverpool, in 1850. Photograph: Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images

The extent of British government discomfort at commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine is revealed in previously confidential files re(...)

Journalist Chris Ryder covered the Troubles during its bloodiest periods. Photograph:  Pacemaker

The Northern Ireland journalist, Chris Ryder who covered the Troubles virtually from their outset, has died at the age of 73. His wife Genny in a twe(...)

Seamus Mallon: His political opponents came to appreciate him as an honest, stubborn, conscientious Ulsterman, who dealt in straight talking. Photograph:   Paula Beats/ Reuters

On the bitterly cold evening of February 20th, 1986, Seamus Mallon made his maiden speech in the House of Commons as newly-elected MP for Newry and Ar(...)

Starving peasants in 1846 clamour at the gates of a workhouse during the Irish potato famine. Image: Hulton Archive/Getty

Former British prime minister John Major stepped in to stop plans for a service commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine in 1996 amid f(...)

Bill Clinton at Mackie’s factory, Belfast, in 1995. He was the first sitting US president to visit  Northern Ireland. File photograph: Eric Luke

Civil servants were opposed to John Major taking part in US president Bill Clinton’s historic visit to Northern Ireland in case it resulted in the pri(...)

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams being applauded by delegates   after addressing the opening session of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation at Dublin Castle in 1991. Photograph: Frank Miller

A decision by president Mary Robinson to meet Gerry Adams during a visit to west Belfast in 1993 was vehemently opposed by then Northern Ireland secre(...)

Ian Paisley jnr: in 1994 he told Larry Robinson that the DUP would be happy to re-enter the talks process at Stormont “provided that the Hume-Adams talks were ended” and the Republic made a firm commitment to a referendum on articles 2 and 3.  Photograph: PA Wire

Revealing insights into the thinking of several Northern Ireland politicians was provided to the British government by a London-based American diploma(...)

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is applauded by delegates including taoiseach Albert Reynolds after addressing the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin Castle in October 1994. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Newly-declassified documents have shed new light on Britain’s failed attempts to stop the Clinton administration issuing a visa to allow Sinn Féin lea(...)

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