Anglo-Irish Agreement 1985
• Leaving Cert History
• Case Study
• Northern Ireland 1949-1973
• Sinn Fein began making electoral gains after the
• UK and Irish governments worried that Sinn Fein
would steal votes away from the SDLP
• Irish government establish the New Ireland Forum
to discuss possible solutions to the conflict
• The UK government, Unionist parties and Sinn
Fein all boycotted the New Ireland Forum
• The New Ireland Forum suggested 3 possible
– (a) a united Ireland
– (b) a confederation of Northern Ireland and the
– (c) joint authority over Northern Ireland.
• Response from UK government
• Maggie Thatcher said
I have made it quite clear ... that a unified Ireland was
one solution that is out. A second solution was
confederation of two states. That is out. A third solution
was joint authority. That is out. That is a derogation
from sovereignty. We made that quite clear when the
Report was published. Northern Ireland is part of the
United Kingdom. She is part of the United Kingdom
because that is the wish of the majority of her citizens.
The majority wish to stay part of the United Kingdom.
• Became known as the ‘out, out, out’ speech.
• 12 October 1984
IRA blow up Grand
Hotel in Brighton
during the Tory
• 5 killed – Thatcher
• UK and Irish governments begin talks
• Anglo-Irish Agreement finalised on 15
• It set up an Intergovernmental Conference:
the Northern Ireland Secretary and Irish
Foreign Minister would meet regularly.
• There would be cross-border co-operation on
security, legal and political issues.
• The Agreement set up its own civil service
with staff from both sides of the border.
• The British government accepted that there
might one day be a united Ireland, but only
with the consent of the majority in Northern
• The Irish government accepted the existence
of Partition, and also the principle of consent.
Reaction to Agreement
• Among Unionists – uproar, shock, a sense of
• The Ulster Unionist leader, James Molyneaux,
said that Northern Ireland was being delivered
"from one nation to another".
• SDLP supported the agreement
• Sinn Fein was against it because the Irish
government was recognising Northern Ireland's
Opposition in Northern
• Mass rallies organised by Unionists
Unionist MPs resign
• As a protest, all the Unionist MPs resigned,
forcing by-elections all over Northern Ireland.
• Although the Unionist vote went up, they lost
the constituency of Newry and Armagh to the
Ongoing Paramilitary campaign
• IRA and Loyalist attacks continue
• Almost 300 murders between 1984 and 1987
• One of the worst massacres was on 6
November 1987 when the IRA detonated a
bomb at the war memorial in Enniskillen
• Crowds of civilians gathered to watch a
Remembrance Day parade.
• One building collapsed onto the crowd, killing
11 people and injuring many more.
• By 1986 protests fizzle out
• Agreement remains in place
• UUP and DUP ended their boycott of the UK
government in September 1987 in order to
have talks about the possibility of having
new peace talks.
• New talks in 1991 fail to progress
• Presentation prepared by:
• Dominic Haugh
• St. Particks Comprehensive School
• Co. Clare
• Presentation can be used for educational purposes only – all rights remain with author