• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Northern Ireland - Discussions between the British Prime Minister, John Major, and the Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, resulted in the issue of the 'Downing Street Declaration' on the 15th of December 1993.

Extracts from this document...


The Search For a Settlement In The 1990's By Suzie Keevil 11N Questions 1) Discussions between the British Prime Minister, John Major, and the Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, resulted in the issue of the 'Downing Street Declaration' on the 15th of December 1993. The key features of this were as follows: ~ Both agreed that it was the people of Ireland, by the agreement of the two parties respectively, to 'exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland, if that is their wish' ~ Both governments agreed to give 'full respect for the rights and identities of both traditions of Ireland' ~ Cross-party talks would be set up - but only those who parties that condemned violence were permitted to join. Moderate Nationalists welcomed the declaration because it seemed that the British government accepted the possibility of a united Ireland. But this apparent shift in British policy worried the Unionists because the British government no longer appeared determined to keep Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom. In the following months, Albert Reynolds put pressure on Sinn Fein to renounce violence and seek a democratic and political settlement to the conflict. When Gerry Adams visited the USA in February 1994, he was treated as a celebrity, but the support he received from Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and other leading politicians was dependant on Sinn Fein pursuing peaceful, rather than violent policies. ...read more.


Further progress with the peace process negotiations was stalled by the IRA's refusal to decommission their weapons. Despite the intervention of the US Senator George Mitchell, who was perceived as being an outstanding peacemaker and negotiator, a compromise could not be reached. As a result of this, the IRA ended their ceasefire by exploding a bomb near the Canary Wharf building in London in February 1996. The bomb claimed two lives, caused one billion pounds worth of damage, and left a very uncertain future for the peace process. The IRA continued its bombing campaign and in June 1996 destroyed the centre of Manchester in an explosion that injured 200 people. 4) In March 1998 the Senator George Mitchell decided that the 'time for discussion is over'. He set a deadline of the 9th of April for all parties to reach agreement on the future of Northern Ireland. As the deadline drew nearer, all night discussions took place involving all parties and, eventually, Tony Blair and Iris Taoisech Bertie Ahern. Then, finally at 5:36pm on Saturday the 10th of April, Senator Mitchell announced the contents of the Good Friday Agreement between the British government, the Dublin government and the main Northern Ireland political parties, including Sinn Fein (which had renounced violence). The key features of the Good Friday Agreement were as follows: ~ The state of Northern Ireland was legitimate and would remain part of the United Kingdom ...read more.


became his deputy. A bombing that occurred on the 12th of July in County Antrin killed three boys. Another in Omagh killed 24 people. These two bombings only helped to make politicians in Northern Ireland even more determined to make the Agreement work. It was not until the 2nd of December that the Northern Ireland Assembly met for the first time. The continuation of punishment beatings and the failure of the IRA to decommission weapons had slowed down the process considerably. In November 1998, Senator Mitchell had helped to draft a proposal that initiated decommissioning after the Northern Ireland Assembly met for the first time. The pressure on both Sinn Fein and the IRA mounted when Mitchell said any failure to decommission would 'leave this society uncertain and vulnerable'. The Ulster Unionist Party eventually agreed to the proposal with David Trimble adding, 'we have done our bit, Mr Adams, it is over to you. We have jumped, you follow'. Between the 11th of February and the 5th of June 1999 the Northern Ireland Assembly was temporarily suspended. Power returned to the new Secretary of State, Peter Mandelson, after the UUP grew tired of waiting for any progress on Ira decommissioning. Following a statement by the IRA that would begin 'a process that will completely and verifiably put the IRA arms beyond use' and permit neutral inspectors to regularly monitor their arms dumps, David Trimble and the UUP agreed to return to the Northern Ireland Assembly. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. Ireland coursework-Part AIreland has had a lot of trouble over the years for many ...

    Although their terrorist activities have almost stopped the IRA haven't completely decommissioned their weapons. This is what the unionists want before they will negotiate with Sinn Fein. The unionists say that all terrorism has to stop for politics in a democracy to work.

  2. The Anglo-Irish agreement, 1985, this was agreed between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish ...

    Government, even at the expense of my cherished, but for the time being at least clearly unachievable, objective of seeking a solution through negotiations with the Unionists." Garret Fitzgerald in his autobiography All in a Life (Fitzgerald, 1991). "I started from the need for greater security, which was imperative.

  1. The History of Conflict in Ireland.

    and yet they're able to endure. And endurance was its middle name. [With regard to Sinn Fein] ... the contemporary view inside the Republican movement is that there are two separate operations. There is an Irish Republican Army and there is a political, but discreet, wing called Sinn Fein.

  2. Co-operation and Conflict - Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

    O'Neil was wiling to abolish the hatred amongst the Protestant population against the Catholics. It was starting to smell of independency and agreement between the religions. However it was not till long. During the 1960s a civil rights movement began to campaign for a more reasonable access to political power, cultural appreciation and social condition.

  1. Why was Ireland such a central Issue in British politics in the first half ...

    were taken from the Lands of Hugh O' Neill, Earl of Tyrone, He was as Robert Kee described " The last of those great Gaelic Chiefs who, though acknowledging in theory the sovereignty of the English monarchy, tried to resist the new Tudor administrative machine."

  2. "The Failure of the British to Solve the Irish Question Arises From Ignorance and ...

    Many members or their friends owned land in Ireland. They felt that an Irish Parliament would be hostile towards rich landowners. This ignorance was purely self-interest on the part of the Lords. In September 1914 a third Home Rule Bill was presented to Parliament. This brought bitter opposition from Ulster Protestants.

  1. What where the main features of Liberal Policies towards Ireland between 1906-1914.

    Echoes of Wolfe Tone's 'Self-governing republic' can perhaps be heard in Parnell's objective of 'National Self-government'. Some attitudes remain adamant throughout time. It was in fact 'time' that unfortunately ran out on Gladstone in his second ministry, (1880-1885). His hopes for a peaceful settlement to the whole dispute with the introduction of 'The second land act (1881)

  2. The Search For A Settlement In The 1970's and 80's - Northern Ireland

    Unionists became afraid that the Agreement was the first step to a united Ireland and many simply could not agree to any sharing of power with Catholics. Elections in February 1974 revealed Unionist voters were against the Agreement by a majority of three to one.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work