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Anglo-Irish Agreement - Chronology of Events



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Text and Research: Martin Melaugh
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Anglo-Irish Agreement - Chronology of Events

Sunday 20 January 1985
Douglas Hurd, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was interviewed on Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE) during which he said that political arrangements could be created to improve Anglo-Irish relationships.

Friday 1 February 1985
John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), announced that he was accepting an invitation to a meeting with the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Hume said he would urge the IRA leadership to end the campaign of violence. However he was heavily criticised by Unionists and others.

Sunday 3 February 1985
Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that the proposed meeting between John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would be used by Republicans for propaganda purposes. Charles Haughey, then leader of Fianna Fáil (FF), supported Hume.

Saturday 16 February 1985
Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), was refused a visa to enter the United States of America (USA). Adams was supposed to address a meeting of members of Congress but the US State Department turned down the visa application.

Saturday 23 March 1985
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held its annual conference in Castlereagh, East Belfast. During his speech, Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), accused the Irish government, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and the Catholic hierarchy of having a vested interest in Irish Republican Army (IRA) atrocities.

Tuesday 25 June 1985
The United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) sign a bilateral treaty that would prevent people facing extradition from claiming that their crimes had a political motive.

Friday 30 August 1985
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), attended a meeting at Downing Street, London, with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister. The two Unionist leaders had asked for the meeting to protest at the continuing Anglo-Irish talks between the two governments.

Monday 2 September 1985
Tom King replaced Douglas Hurd as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Saturday 5 October 1985
Charles Haughey, then leader of Fianna Fáil (FF), said that FF would not support any move away from the principle of a United Ireland.

Wednesday 30 October 1985
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), attended a meeting at Downing Street, London, with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister. The two Unionists again protested at the continuing Anglo-Irish talks between the two governments. They warned that a consultative role in Northern Ireland affairs for the government in the Republic of Ireland would lead to a Loyalist backlash.

Saturday 2 November 1985
Loyalists began a campaign to establish 'Ulster Clubs' in each District Council area in Northern Ireland. To begin the campaign there was a march through Belfast by an estimated 5,000 members of the United Ulster Loyalist Front (UULF). The main aim of the organisation was to oppose any forthcoming Anglo-Irish agreement.

Friday 15 November 1985
Anglo-Irish Agreement Signed
Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, and Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) at Hillsborough, County Down, on behalf of the two governments. The first part of the document stated: "The two Governments (a) affirm that any change in the status of Northern Ireland would only come about with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland." The Agreement established the Inter-Governmental Conference that for the first time gave the Irish government a consultative role in matters related to security, legal affairs, politics, and cross-border co-operation. The Agreement also stated that the two governments would support any future wish by the people of Northern Ireland to enter into a united Ireland. Many Nationalists saw this as an important development. Unionists were outraged at the Agreement and began a long campaign to have the AIA removed. [The AIA was only superseded when the Good Friday Agreement was implemented on 2 December 1999.] Loyalist paramilitaries also reacted and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) declared all members of the Anglo-Irish Conference and Secretariat to be 'legitimate targets'. Ian Gow, then British Treasury Minister, resigned in protest at the signing of the Agreement.

Saturday 16 November 1985
The Northern Ireland Assembly voted by 44 votes to 10 for a motion calling for a referendum to be held on the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Unionists also announced that on 17 December 1985 all 15 Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Members of Parliament (MPs) would resign their seats and so cause by-elections in most of the parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland. Unionists also said they would withdraw from all advisory boards in Northern Ireland and refuse to meet with government ministers.

Monday 18 November 1985
Mary Robinson, then a Senator (and future President) in the Republic of Ireland, resigned from the Labour Party in protest at the lack of consultation before the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was introduced.

Tuesday 19 November 1985
The 18 District Councils that were controlled by Unionists voted for a policy of adjournment against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The councils also threatened to refuse to set the 'rates' (local government taxes). [These developments sparked a long period of disruption in local government in Northern Ireland.]

Wednesday 20 November 1985
Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was physically attacked by Loyalist protesters as he arrived for a function at Belfast City Hall. The protests were against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [George Seawright, then a Loyalist councillor, was jailed for nine months in October 1986 for his part in this protest.]

Thursday 21 November 1985
In the Republic of Ireland there was a vote in the Dáil on the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Although Fianna Fáil (FF) voted against the Agreement the motion was passed by 88 votes to 75. Charles Haughey, then leader of FF, said he would not oppose developments that were of benefit to Nationalists living in Northern Ireland.

Saturday 23 November 1985
Unionist Rally Against AIA

There was a huge Unionist rally, estimated at over 100,000 people, at Belfast City Hall to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [The slogan in the campaign against the AIA was ‘Ulster Says NO’ and it was one that was to appear throughout the region and to remain for a considerable number of years.]

Monday 25 November 1985
Unionists lost a High Court action in London during which they sought leave to challenge certain aspects of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Tuesday 26 November 1985
In the House of Commons at Westminster a two-day debate on the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) began.

Wednesday 27 November 1985
The House of Commons approved the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in a vote of 473 votes to 47. During her speech Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, said that the government would not give way to threats or violence.

Tuesday 3 December 1985
Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, expressed his regret for a speech he made in Brussels in which he had said he thought the Irish government accepted that there would never be a united Ireland.

Thursday 5 December 1985
Unionist members in the Northern Ireland Assembly established a Grand Committee of the Assembly to examine the impact of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) on government departments.

Friday 6 December 1985
The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) took the decision to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Wednesday 11 December 1985
The first meeting of the new Inter-Governmental Conference established under the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was held. Protestant workers from a number of firms in Belfast staged walk-outs and marched to Maryfield where the Anglo-Irish Secretariat was based. There were violent clashes between the demonstrators and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) with 38 officers being injured.

Tuesday 17 December 1985
All 15 Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) resigned their seats in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Their intention was to highlight opposition to the Agreement in Northern Ireland during the by-elections that would be caused.

Saturday 21 December 1985
Des O’Malley formed a new political party, the Progressive Democrats, in the Republic of Ireland.

1986

Friday 3 January 1986
Pascal O'Hare, then a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Assembly Member, resigned from the party because he believed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) secured the union with Britain and reduced the chance of a united Ireland.

Tuesday 14 January 1986
Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the forthcoming Westminster by-elections, brought about in protest to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA), would not change the government's support for the Agreement.

Thursday 23 January 1986
Westminster By-Elections
Fifteen Westminster by-elections were held across Northern Ireland. The by-elections were caused when Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) resigned their seats in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Unionists fought the election under the slogan 'Ulster Says No' and wanted the elections to act as a referendum on the AIA. The SDLP decided not to nominate candidates in safe Unionists seats but instead fought in four marginal constituencies. [When counting of the votes was completed it became clear that Unionists had increased their vote on the 1983 general election. The vote for Sinn Féin (SF) was down by 5 per cent on the 1985 local government election. Seamus Mallon of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) won the Newry and Armagh seat from Jim Nicholson of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). As most of the constituencies were uncontested by Nationalist candidates, Unionists put up dummy candidates called 'Peter Barry' in four seats. Peter Barry was at the time Irish Foreign Minister.]
Brian Mawhinney, then Member of Parliament (MP) for Peterborough, was appointed as a junior minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). Mawhinney was originally from Northern Ireland.

Thursday 30 January 1986
Fianna Fáil (FF) said that it welcomed the comments of Harold McCusker, then deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), who had suggested a conference of British, Irish, and Northern Ireland politicians to discuss the 'totality of relationships'.

Friday 7 February 1986
The High Court in Belfast ordered that Belfast City Council should end the on-going adjournment of council business in protest to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The court also instructed the council to remove the large 'Belfast Says No' banner from the front of the City Hall. The court action had been brought by the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI).

Tuesday 25 February 1986
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, to discuss the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Following the meeting the two Unionist leaders said that they welcomed Thatcher's promise to consider their proposals for talks on devolution for Northern Ireland. [When Moylneaux and Paisley returned to Northern Ireland and held talks with other Unionist representatives in the region, including the leaders of workers in the power stations and the shipyard, they decided that they would hold no further discussions with the Prime Minister until the AIA was overturned.] Belfast City Council voted to refuse to set a 'rate' (local government tax) in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [In seventeen other councils across Northern Ireland, where Unionists were in a majority, a similar decision was taken.]

Wednesday 26 February 1986
Leaders of Unionism announced that there would be a general strike, or 'Day of Action', on 3 March (1986) against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Monday 3 March 1986
Unionist 'Day of Action’

There was a widespread general strike, or 'Day of Action', in Northern Ireland in support of Unionist demands for the ending of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Most aspects of life across the region were disrupted as factories and shops closed. Public transport including air travel was also affected. [While many Protestants supported the strike and voluntarily stayed at home there was also a high level of intimidation with masked Loyalists setting up barricades. There were riots in Loyalist areas during the evening and night and shots were fired at the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Later RUC figures showed that there had been 237 reported cases of intimidation, 57 people arrested, and 47 RUC officers injured. The government and the security forces were later criticised for not keeping the main roads open and for not trying to end the intimidation.]

Tuesday 4 March 1986
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), issued a joint statement which condemned the violence and the intimidation during the 'Day of Action' (3 March 1986). Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, speaking in the House of Commons said that Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) had made common cause with men in paramilitary uniforms.

Monday 10 March 1986
Unionist leaders said that they would resume talks with the British government if the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was suspended.

Tuesday 11 March 1986
The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) arrested three Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Assembly Members when they tried to enter Stormont Castle where the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference was in session. [The DUP members were attempting to cut through a wire fence when they were arrested.] The House of Representatives in the United States of America (USA) unanimously voted to approve a $250 million aid package, over a five year period, to Northern Ireland to support the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Thursday 13 March 1986
It was announced that additional British Army soldiers would be sent to Northern Ireland to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The move was the result of Unionist protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). In the High Court in Glasgow, Scotland, two men were sentenced to eight years' imprisonment for attempting to acquire arms for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Wednesday 19 March 1986
Richard Needham, then a Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Minsiter, announced that the Department of the Environment would take over the function of setting the 'rates' (local government tax) in the 18 district councils that were refusing to do so. The councils were protesting against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Monday 24 March 1986
Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, wrote a letter to Unionist leaders in which she rejected a demand for a suspension of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) to allow talks on devolution to begin.

Wednesday 23 April 1986
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), announced a 12-point plan of civil disobedience in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Among the measures was a 'rates' (local government taxes) strike.

Friday 25 April 1986
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Executive voted to end the special relationship with the British Conservative Party. [The relationship dated from the first Home Rule crises. The Conservative and Unionist Party was the official title of the conservatives.]

Tuesday 6 May 1986
There was a vote at Belfast City Council to resume normal business that had been adjourned in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The vote was carried by 27 to 23 votes. The vote was taken to avoid a £25,000 court fine, however the council began a policy of deferring business.

Thursday 15 May 1986
There was a series of protests and demonstrations to mark the six-month anniversary of the imposition of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). One demonstration took place in Hillsborough, County Down, where the AIA had been signed. In Belfast members of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) occupied the switchboard of the parliament buildings at Stormont. There was also a brief strike by power workers at Ballylumford, County Antrim.

Friday 16 May 1986
Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), spoke at a seminar in Amsterdam, Holland. Adams criticised the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) saying that it secured the partition of the six counties of Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 20 May 1986
Nicholas Scott, then a Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Minister, provided information in the House of Commons on the level of intimidation that Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers had faced from Loyalists during protests at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Scott said that there had been 368 cases of intimidation. [Later information provided by the RUC indicated that the final number was over 500 homes attacked and 150 RUC families forced to move.]

Thursday 29 May 1986
Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, informed the House of Commons of the decision to dissolve the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Monday 23 June 1986
Northern Ireland Assembly Dissolved

The Northern Ireland Assembly was officially dissolved. A group of 200 Loyalist protesters gathered outside Stormont and when trouble erupted the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) baton-charged the crowd. Inside the debating chamber 22 Unionist politicians refused to leave the building. [Early the next day the RUC removed the Unionist politicians, including Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).]

Tuesday 24 June 1986
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that Northern Ireland was on the verge of civil war.

Wednesday 2 July 1986
Unionist politicians established their own version of the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast City Hall.

Thursday 10 July 1986
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the DUP, along with 4,000 Loyalists staged an early morning protest in which they 'took over' and 'occupied' Hillsborough, County Down. The action was part of the continuing protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Friday 5 September 1986
A group of politicians from the main Unionist parties advised district councillors to resign on 15 November 1986 (the first anniversary of the Anglo-Irish Agreement; AIA) as a protest against the Agreement and to force the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to appoint commissioners to run the councils. [Later the councillors themselves decided against mass resignations.]

Tuesday 23 September 1986
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillors held separate meetings and decided to continue the protests in council chambers against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). However they decided against mass resignations.

Monday 6 October 1986
There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in Dublin. The group discussed border security and agreed to implement a proposal that citizens from the Republic of Ireland who were living in Northern Ireland would be given the right to vote in local government elections in the region.

Sunday 12 October 1986
Charles Haughey, then leader of Fianna Fáil (FF), said that since the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) the position of Nationalists in Northern Ireland had 'seriously worsened' and that when FF returned to government his party would seek to renegotiate the Agreement.

Friday 7 November 1986
Sammy Wilson, then Lord Mayor of Belfast and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor, prevented Northern Ireland Office (NIO) ministers from attending the Remembrance Day service at Belfast City Hall. This was in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Monday 10 November 1986
Ulster Resistance Formed

Loyalists held a closed meeting at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. The main speakers at the meeting were Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Peter Robinson of the DUP, and Ivan Foster. During the meeting a new organisation, Ulster Resistance, was formed to 'take direct action as and when required' to end the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [Ulster Resistance was to take the place of the 'Ulster Clubs' that had been formed on 2 November 1985.]

Tuesday 12 November 1986
The Queen's speech, at the opening of a new parliament at Westminster, reaffirmed the British government's commitment to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Saturday 15 November 1986
Unionist Rally Against AIA

Unionists and Loyalists held a large demonstration in front of Belfast City Hall to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) on the first anniversary of the signing of the Agreement. Following the demonstration some shops in the centre of the city were damaged when Loyalists clashed with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Tuesday 18 November 1986
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), travelled to London to hold a meeting with Neil Kinnock, then leader of the Labour Party.

Friday 21 November 1986
The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held its annual conference in Newcastle, County Down. The delegates rejected Unionist calls for a suspension of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Wednesday 26 November 1986
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) councillors decided not to resign from district councils in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The decision was taken although the leadership of the UUP was in favour of mass resignations. The Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights (SACHR) recommended that Diplock courts in Northern Ireland should have three judges to hear cases. However, the Commission did not support calls for a return to jury trials for scheduled (terrorist) offences.

Sunday 21 December 1986
Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, said that he believed the morale of Nationalists had improved since the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Tuesday 23 December 1986
Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Northern Ireland. During the visit she stated her government's commitment to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). She also said that she did not believe a change in government in the Republic of Ireland would affect the Agreement.

1987

Saturday 3 January 1987
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) organised a petition against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Eventually 400,000 signatures were collected and the petition handed into Buckingham Palace on 12 February 1987.

Monday 23 February 1987
Belfast City Council became the latest in a line of Northern Ireland councils to be fined for failing to conduct normal business. Many Unionist controlled councils had been refusing to conduct council business as part of a protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The Department of the Environment appointed a commissioner to set a rate in those councils which have refused to do so. Martin Melaugh celebrated his 30th birthday.

Tuesday 24 February 1987
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced the establishment of a 'task force' to produce an alternative to the Anglo-Irish Agreement. The Unionist Task Force reported on 2 July 1987.

Sunday 11 October 1987
Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), expressed his disappointment in the achievements of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Tuesday 20 October 1987
Unionist councilors in Belfast City Council agreed to pay the fine imposed on 23 February 1987 for action taken as part of their protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Thursday 12 November 1987
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), led a protest march against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in London.

Saturday 14 November 1987
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), attend a protest rally against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in Hillsborough.

1988

Tuesday 15 November 1988
Protests organised by Unionists against the Anglo-Irish Agreement were less well supported than previous years.

1989

Wednesday 24 May 1989
The scheduled assessment of the working of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was published in a review document. The review was conducted under Article 11 of the AIA which stated that an assessment of the operation of the Intergovernmental Conference should be undertaken to see "whether any changes in the scope and nature of its activities are desirable".

Wednesday 15 November 1989
Unionist protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement drew very little support.

1990

Monday 29 January 1990
The 'Belfast Telegraph' newspaper published the results of an opinion poll of people in Northern Ireland. One result showed that 68 per cent of Protestants and 62 per cent of Catholics felt that the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) had made no difference to the political situation in Northern Ireland.

Friday 2 March 1990
There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) in London.

Friday 4 May 1990
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, told Unionist leaders that proposed political talks would consider an alternative to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Friday 11 May 1990
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met with Unionist leaders and agreed that there would be a gap in the meetings of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) to allow talks to begin.

Friday 14 September 1990
There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) in Dublin.

1991

Thursday 31 January 1991
There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in Dublin. Following the meeting Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that political talks were "a possibility, not a probability".

Saturday 2 February 1991
An interview with Garret FitzGerald, former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), was published in the Irish Independent (a Republic of Ireland newspaper). Fitzgerald said that he had considered holding a referendum on Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution at the time of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Monday 25 March 1991
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), all agreed to the arrangements for political talks on the future of Northern Ireland. Richard Needham, then a Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Minister, became the first NIO minister to visit Belfast City Hall since the Unionist protest began over the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Tuesday 9 April 1991
The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference held a meeting in Belfast. Following the meeting Gerry Collins, then Irish Foreign Minister, announced that there would be a 10 week gap after its next meeting on 26 April 1991. [The break in meetings was designed to allow Unionists to enter talks on the future of Northern Ireland.]

Friday 26 April 1991
There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference. This was the last meeting for a 10 week period to allow talks to take place between the political parties.

Tuesday 16 July 1991
The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) held a meeting in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Meetings of the AIIC had been suspended for 11 weeks to allow the (Brooke / Mayhew) political talks to proceed.

Friday 13 September 1991
The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) held a meeting at Stormont in Belfast.

Friday 27 September 1991
The Irish Times carried a report of an interview with Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Brooke was reported as stating that Articles 2 and 3 of the Republic of Ireland's constitution were "not helpful" in finding an agreement in Northern Ireland. He also warned that people should not seek to stretch the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Wednesday 16 October 1991
The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) held a meeting in London.

Wednesday 20 November 1991
The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) held a meeting in Dublin. Ray Burke, then Minister for Justice in the Irish government, confirmed that there would be changes to the laws on extradition.

Monday 2 December 1991
The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) held a meeting in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. One of the outcomes of the meeting was a suggestion by the AIIC that there should be a single railway authority for the whole of Ireland.

Wednesday 18 December 1991
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb, estimated at 500 pounds, at the Belfast law courts. The buildings were damaged in the attack.
There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) in London.


Sources
This chronology has been compiled from a number of sources:
Bew, P. and Gillespie, G. (1999) Northern Ireland A chronology of the Troubles 1968-1999. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan Ltd.
Elliott, S. and Flackes, W.D. (1999) Northern Ireland A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press.
Sutton, M. (1994) An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993. Belfast: Beyone the Pale Publications.
Fortnight Magazine's monthly chronology of 'the Troubles'.
Various newspapers


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