Loyalist protestor outside Hillsborough during the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement

1972 Under pressure both from Westminster and nationalists, and in the face of escalating violence, the Conservative British government ended the Stor(...)

Garret Fitzgerald and  Margaret Thatcher shake hands after signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement at Hillsborough in 1985,

The central feature of the Anglo-Irish Agreement was that the Irish and British governments would consult regularly and formally on the administration(...)

 Peter Barry, then minister for foreign affairs,  in his office at Iveagh House in 1985. Photograph: Jack McManus

Garret FitzGerald deserves more credit than anybody else for the Anglo-Irish Agreement, according to Peter Barry, who himself played an important role(...)

Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey signs copies of the New Ireland Forum’s report in May 1984. Haughey initially opposed the subsequent Anglo-Irish Agreement. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Every major political breakthrough requires significant imagination and courage. The Anglo-Irish Agreement was Margaret Thatcher’s Nixon to China mome(...)

Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the anti Anglo-Irish rally in Belfast in 1985 where he made in infamous Never Never Never speach.

Probably the most memorable footage capturing the visceral depth of unionism’s antagonism to the Anglo-Irish Agreement is of Ian Paisley at Belfast Ci(...)

 Belfast loyalists clash with RUC officers at the gates of Maryfield in 1985

Now 65, John Doogan was one of those who stood in the throng outside Belfast City Hall 30 years ago, cheering loudly with every other unionist in the (...)

 Seamus Mallon, Joe Hendron, Eddie McGrady and John Hume of the SDLP, at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin in 1985, after a meeting with taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and members of the cabinet.  Photograph: Jack McManus/The Irish Times

For the Northern nationalist community, the Anglo-Irish Agreement was truly transformational. More than a decade had passed since hopes of a new begin(...)

Harold McCusker: “I felt desolate because as I stood in the cold outside Hillsborough Castle everything that I held dear turned to ashes in my mouth.”

The signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement on the November 15th, 1985 , was a defining moment for unionism and for Northern Ireland. We had just come t(...)

The scene outside Hillsborough courthouse while the Anglo-Irish Agreement was being signed in Hillsborough Castle. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea.
Intense rivalry extended north

Charles Haughey’s trenchant opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement was undoubtedly a mistake, which had negative political consequences, but it also (...)

 Margaret Thatcher, flanked by Sir Geoffrey Howe and Tom King, waving goodbye after the signing of the agreement. Photograph: Pat Langan

I have a vivid recollection of what it felt like that day as I watched the prime minister and the taoiseach put their signatures to an agreement betwe(...)

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