Problems That Need To Be Overcome If Current Peace Talks In Northern Ireland Are To Succeed

2156 words - 9 pages

Problems that Need to be Overcome If Current Peace Talks in Northern Ireland are to Succeed

In your answer you need to consider:

a) Two previous attempts made at peace in the last 20 years

b) The break through that have been made

c) The problems that still exist

Between 1980 and 1984 Margaret Thatcher held regular meetings with
Taoiseaches Charles Haughey and then after she held meetings with
Garret Fitzgerald. The IRA violence was beginning to get out of
control and both governments were getting very concerned. Margret
Thatcher on other hands was almost Killed by an IRA bomb in 1984 and
things had to change. They were also concerned about the increasing
support for the IRA’s political wing, Sinn Fein. Thatcher was sure
that if there was going to be a solution to Northern Irelands conflict
then she would have to involve the Irish Republic in some way or form.
Whilst Thatcher was having many discussions the Unionists in Northern
Ireland became more and more concerned about all the discussions.
Margaret Thatcher chose to forget and ignore their worries. In
November 1985, Thatcher signed the Anglo Irish Agreement with Garret
Fitzgerald. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach
Garret FitzGerald signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) at
Hillsborough Castle on 15 November 1985. It was considered at the time
to represent the most important progress in the relationships between
Britain and Ireland since the partition settlement in 1920. The
Agreement was an international treaty stationed at the United Nations
and supported by the House of Commons and Dáil Éireann.

The Agreement was straight away welcomed by the nationalist SDLP but
denounced in the Republic by the leader of the opposition Charles
Haughey who accused the Irish government of betraying the Constitution
by "copper-fastening" partition and accepting "the British presence in
Ireland as suitable and legal".

The unionists were also strongly opposed to the Agreement. They didn’t
like the involvement of the Republic's government in the affairs of
Northern Ireland. The day after it was signed the News Letter summed
up unionist opposition when it claimed "yesterday the ghosts of
Cromwell and Lundy walked hand in hand to produce a recipe for
bloodshed and conflict which has few parallels in modern history."

In essence the Agreement represented a negotiation between the British
and Irish governments. In return for Dublin's formal appreciation of
the legitimacy of Northern Ireland, London agreed to confer with the
Republic's government on all matters relating to the rights of
Northern Ireland's nationalist minority. The new relationships were
outlined in the Agreement's 13 Articles. These referred to:

· The Status of Northern Ireland, Article 1;

· The Intergovernmental Conference, Articles 2-4;


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