Monday 23 October 2017

‘Most people – maybe even Margaret Thatcher – will recall him as a very nice man’

Diarmuid Doyle

In the early years of the last decade, Garret FitzGerald was at a dinner in New York when he spotted his old sparring partner Margaret Thatcher at a nearby table.

They hadn’t seen each other for a while. FitzGerald, with the help of British civil servants and ministers, had persuaded Thatcher, against her better judgement, to sign the Anglo Irish agreement in 1985, something she quickly regretted, and just as quickly said so.

They were both out of power many years at this point, but FitzGerald thought that – half in jest, half in earnest – he should give her a piece of his mind for her lack of support for a Treaty they had both signed in good faith.

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