On Friday Northern Ireland celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Democracy or anarchy
Civil Rights protest 1968 which began the Troubles
Bloody Sunday 1972
The Hunger Strikes – 1981
Drew attention worldwide, Bobby Sands elected MP and died.
Security commission set up. concerns in Dublin of riots and violence in Dublin. The Taoiseach held talks with Margaret Thatcher in 1985. The Republic would give up claims to northern Ireland, if they had a consultative role in Joint authority/ administration. Anglo /irish secretary set up Belfast and inter-governmental conference.
**Anglo Irish Agreement 1985
Consultative role policing. The consent principle – no unity without majority support.
Ulster freedom fighters. Gaddafi sent weapons, he was against colonization.
SAS men killed IRA men. But the war could not be won.
Bomb undermining success at the ballot box, no military solution.
Father Alex Reid wrote to John Hume – leader of the SDLP, to talk with Sinn Fein.
“I’m about Dialogue – the seed of peace process”
People don’t support violence, reasons no longer existed. British to declare their neutrality. Politically neutral, a way of getting out. Change in British position.
“Secretary of state for northern Ireland, state not there for colonial reasons - “The British government has no selfish security or economic interest in northern Ireland. “
The agreement reached was that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, and would remain so until a majority of the people both of Northern Ireland and of the Republic of Ireland wished otherwise.
Bridges can be built -Take the time, Keep our minds and heart open
Travelling is about asking questions rather than finding answers – people as partners.