Tuesday 19 September 2017

'No question' of Dublin running North - Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher reassured unionist leaders over the Anglo-Irish Agreement
Margaret Thatcher reassured unionist leaders over the Anglo-Irish Agreement

Michael McHugh

Margaret Thatcher said there was "no question" of agreeing to give Dublin joint authority over the running of Northern Ireland, official files have revealed.

The late former British prime minister told unionist leaders that the Anglo- Irish Agreement did not threaten British sovereignty.

Her intervention followed a long-running unionist campaign against the 1985 agreement.

The following year, Thatcher wrote: "It is expressly stated in the Agreement that there is no derogation from the sovereignty of the UK government, which remains solely responsible for decisions in relation to the affairs of Northern Ireland."

Thatcher signed the agreement with Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald at Hillsborough.

It prompted widespread unionist protests, including the collapse of the Stormont Assembly and an "Ulster says No" rally at Belfast City Hall.

Irish Independent

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