News Liz O’Donnell

Saturday 25 March 2017

Distant deal paved way to pack up Troubles

Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald gets a less than warm handshake from British prime minister Margaret Thatcher when strains in relationships between the two countries were at a high before the signing
Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald gets a less than warm handshake from British prime minister Margaret Thatcher when strains in relationships between the two countries were at a high before the signing
Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

Media coverage of State papers from 1985 this week provided a window into the way we were 30 years ago.

Politics is lived very much in the present but can quickly turn to history even in a short time. The papers released were also a throwback to the days of ludicrously regressive contraceptive laws, moving statues and the sorry saga of the Kerry babies case. Archive photos brought back grainy images of the bad old days of Catholic Ireland, bad hairstyles and unfortunate moustaches.

It was also a year when Northern Ireland's 'Troubles' produced 58 murders, a tragic state of affairs which had sadly become normalised on both islands. The previous year, the IRA had bombed the Tory party conference in Brighton, killing five of the British prime minister's close colleagues and injuring many more. The situation in the North looked bleak.

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