Tom King

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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(...)

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 with taoiseach Charles Haughey on the steps of 10 Downing Street, London, in May 1980. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

It was not a high-profile year in Anglo-Irish relations. Everything seemed becalmed in 1989. Yet Charles Haughey was constantly being asked questions (...)

Sir Hugh Orde, when  he became chief constable of the PSNI in 2002. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters

Former Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable, Sir Hugh Orde is one of the few people who actually made practical progress on dealing w(...)

Workers inspect a C Series aircraft wing in Bombardier’s Belfast factor. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

The UK government should examine the possibility of nationalising Bombardier in Northern Ireland to protect thousands of jobs which are at risk, union(...)

Patrick Mayhew. Photograph: Frank Miller

Among the most controversial politicians of 1988 was then British attorney general Patrick Mayhew. On January 20th that year, Irish diplomat Richard R(...)

Taoiseach Charles Haughey was told the British were not committed to the Anglo-Irish Agreement solely for security reasons. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The British were in Northern Ireland only because “one million Irishmen” wanted them there, a British ambassador told taoiseach Charlie Haughey 30 yea(...)

 Ian Paisley and  James Molyneaux in Derry: Molyneaux, a diffident and taciturn figure, was ultimately not able or not willing to hold a direct meeting with Haughey. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Taoiseach Charles Haughey made repeated efforts to set up a meeting with the unionist leader James Molyneaux during 1988 without success. The two mai(...)

The Birmingham Six after their release in London in 1991, with Chris Mullin (centre, with scarf) outside the Old Bailey. File photograph: Joe St Leger

A request by taoiseach Charles Haughey in 1988 for clemency for the Birmingham Six was rebuffed immediately by British prime minister Margaret Thatche(...)

An RUC police officer in riot gear  during rioting by loyalists in Belfast. The Irish government said the RUC must not be allowed to “descend to the level and methods of the terrorists”. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters

Senior police chiefs in Northern Ireland during the 1980s said there was no law “against telling lies” when pressed about the suspected cover-up of an(...)

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