Ted Smyth

Brokering the Good Friday Agreement

The New Ireland Forum: redefining Irish Nationalism and
Setting the Agenda for the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
edited by Mary E. Daly


CONTENTS: this is an excerpt of The New Ireland Forum:
redefining Irish Nationalism and
Setting the Agenda for the Anglo-Irish Agreement

Introduction   Mary E. Daly      

Early Stages to the New Ireland Forum
The New Ireland Forum: redefining Irish Nationalism and Setting the Agenda for the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
Ted Smyth

Glossary of Names      

Appendix: members and Secretariat of the New Ireland Forum

192 Notes on Contributors 194

Index 198



Mary E. Daly

On 22 March 2018 the Royal Irish Academy hosted a remarkable one-day conference, where many of the Irish public servants who worked on the Northern Ireland peace process from the late 1960s until the 1998 Good Friday Agreement spoke about their involvement in that lengthy process. This book brings these contributions to a wider audience.
      Some had told their story on other occasions that are captured in various books, journal articles, archives and films. The John Whyte oral archive—which holds material on British–Irish and Northern Irish negotiations between 1972 and 2006—in University College Dublin Archives, which was released in April 2018, contains 34 interviews with politicians and public servants, but Richard Ryan is the only one of the contributors to this book to feature in that collection. (The archive was developed by UCD professors John Coakley and Jennifer Todd. A list of the interviewees and the background to the collection can be found at: https://www.ucd.ie/archives/collections/depositedcollections/. transcripts of the interviews can be consulted by appointment at UCD Archives.) There are many other first-hand accounts by politicians, political advisers and public servants of their involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process, and some include comments by the contributors to this book, but this is the first work that concentrates exclusively on the role of Irish civil servants and political advisers in the Northern Ireland peace process.
      All those involved with the march 2018 conference were con- scious that ultimately the Good Friday Agreement was delivered by politicians, and the evolution of Irish policy on Northern Ireland was also determined by politicians. The public servants and political advisers whose experiences are captured in this book worked in a highly sensitive political environment, subject to political oversight, but that does not detract from the importance attached to their work. Their contributions evoke a strong sense of that environment and the impact of an ever-changing political landscape—in Britain, the United States and Ireland—on prospects for advancing the Northern Ireland peace process.
     The aim of both the conference and this book is not to celebrate the Good Friday Agreement, but rather to reflect on the evolution of policy and thinking about Northern Ireland over the 30 years from the outbreak of violence in 1968 to the conclusion of the 1998 agreement. These contributions show that the Good Friday Agreement was not inevitable: that it was hard-won. They also reveal the persistent effort that was required of Irish politicians and public servants to secure a role for Ireland in resolving the Northern Ireland conflict, and the critical changes in Irish policy and attitudes that were necessary to give due recognition and respect to the unionist tradition.
     The outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland in 1968 was arguably the greatest challenge for the Irish government since independence, even greater than neutrality in the Second World War. It led to an immediate need to develop policy towards Northern Ireland, establish appropriate administrative structures, gather information and interject an Irish voice into media coverage. A new word emerged within the Irish civil service: ‘travellers’— the Irish officials who spent so much time in Northern Ireland meeting people from both unionist and nationalist traditions, and reporting back to Dublin. Irish public servants, working closely with John Hume, helped to build a key Irish-American political lobby that counteracted the traditionally Anglophile US State department. A long series of meetings, and close personal relationships between Irish and British officials, paved the way for the 1985

     Anglo-Irish Agreement signed by Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and Prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and the massive majority in Westminster that voted in favour of that agreement was at least partly due to the dedicated efforts of Irish diplomats to educate British MPs about Northern Ireland. The book also captures the sacrifices in terms of family and personal life, and the distinct role played by political advisers. It recalls the Forum for a New Ireland, which represented the first serious reflection since independence about Irish unity, partition and identities, and the importance of the Brooke–Mayhew talks: two episodes that have receded from popular memory.
      At an early stage in planning the Academy conference, it became evident that the list of probable speakers was exclusively male. It would have been otherwise if we had extended the contributors to include politicians—Máire Geoghegan Quinn and Liz O’donnell played key roles in the Downing Street Agreement and Good Friday Agreement respectively, and Monica McWilliams of the Northern Ireland Women’s Party was an active participant in both the negotiations leading up to the Good Friday Agreement and the 2018 Academy conference. Women will feature in future conferences and volumes that bring the story up to the 2006 St Andrews Agreement and beyond. Their absence on this occasion reflects historical reality: until 1973 all women civil servants had to resign on marriage, a rule that seriously depleted the pool of talent in the Irish public service. It is also evident that service in Northern Ireland was regarded as dangerous, and therefore women might not have been selected for these roles. In order to partially address this gender imbalance, the four sessions at the Academy conference were moderated by women: Dr Margaret O’Callaghan of Queen’s University Belfast; Catherine Day, former secretary-general of the European Commission; Ireland’s ambassador to mexico Barbara Jones, who has significant experience of working on Northern Ireland and British–Irish relations post 1998; and myself. Each moderator has contributed a short reflection on the panel that she chaired. The foreword is supplied by Olivia O’Leary, one of the pioneering women journalists who covered the Northern Ireland troubles.
      My thanks go to all the contributors to this book for agreeing to put their stories in the record, and to all who participated in the Academy conference and contributed their knowledge from the floor. The audience included many people who were also involved in this story. Many speakers recalled their former colleagues. The late Dermot Gallagher, former secretary-general of the Department of Foreign Affairs, was mentioned in every session. We had hoped that Frank Murray, former secretary to the government, would join us on the day, but he was ill and died shortly after the conference. The other absent giant who featured throughout the conference was John Hume. He was the initial point of contact for Irish officials trying to develop a knowledge of Northern Ireland, and he was also instrumental in building critical connections with US politicians—a development that proved critical in securing the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
      The conference would not have been possible without the assistance of the department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who helped to identify possible speakers and attendees. My thanks go to Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney; to Secretary-General Niall Burgess and to Eoghan Duffy and Fionnuala Callanan for advice and assistance. My thanks go also to the president, council and staff of the Royal Irish Academy for supporting the conference, and to the RIA’s outstanding publications office, especially Ruth Hegarty, Helena King and Fidelma Slattery.


Early Stages to the
New Ireland Forum

The New Ireland Forum: redefining Irish
Nationalism and Setting the Agenda for the
Anglo-Irish Agreement
By Ted Smyth

When I joined the department of Foreign Affairs in late 1972, it was focused on managing two major political initiatives: the republic’s imminent accession to the EEC and the escalating Northern Ireland conflict, including preparations to take the UK government to the European Court of Human rights and negotiations for what would become the Sunningdale Conference the following year. My assignment in 1973 to the newly formed european Political Cooperation unit included support for the first european summit in Dublin Castle (Foreign minister Garret FitzGerald committed Irish officials to conduct meetings through French rather than english), which led to a year in Geneva as a delegate to the East–West Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) talks. Next came a posting to the Irish embassy in Portugal during the revolution that ousted the fascist government. Henry Kissinger wrongly concluded that Portugal was lost to communism, but European support for Mário Soares’ Socialist party resulted in him defeating the communists in the first free elections in Portugal.

While in Portugal I got to know scores of senior journalists who covered the revolution, including Mike Burns and Liam Hourican from RTÉ, Paul Gillespie from The Irish Times and Robert Fisk, then with The Times. The deteriorating situation in Northern Ireland was never far from our minds, and I thus welcomed an offer in 1976 from Seán Donlon, then Assistant Secretary of the Anglo-Irish division, to become head of press in the united States. Working with brilliant diplomatic colleagues over the next four years, including Michael Lillis, Seán Donlon (who became ambas- sador to the uS in 1978), Gearóid Ó Cléirigh, Padraic Collins, Sean O Huiginn and Jim Sharkey, five basic goals were pursued: secure American political and public support for a Northern Ireland solution based on a role for dublin and equal rights for nationalists and unionists, encourage Irish-Americans to support this objective rather than IRA violence, persuade the traditionally pro-British American media to become more critical of the British government’s one-sided policy in Northern Ireland, work with the Industrial development Authority (IDA) to attract foreign direct investment to Ireland and, finally, collaborate with Irish-Americans to promote Irish culture and the arts.

Availing of the visits of Irish politicians, especially John Hume, we made progress on a number of these goals. As Seán Donlon has noted in this volume, Michael Lillis (who had preceded me as Head of Press) worked with the ‘Four Horsemen’ to convince President Carter in 1977 to break with precedent and support a Dublin role in Northern Ireland. We eventually secured widespread media support for this historic breakthrough despite Jody Powell’s (Carter’s press secretary) best efforts to bury the announcement on a Friday evening in August, doubtless an effort to placate an angry State department and British government.

However, much of the progress by Irish politicians and diplomats in advocating a peaceful solution was endangered by the intransigence of British Prime minister margaret Thatcher in rela- tion to the IrA hunger strikes begun in 1980. IRA prisoners in Northern Ireland went on hunger strike to restore the right to wear their own clothes as political prisoners. These protests escalated dramatically in 1981, resulting in the election of Bobby Sands to the British parliament during his hunger strike. Sands died in May 1981 following the British government’s refusal to make concessions on prison rules, despite appeals for flexibility from taoiseach Charles Haughey and the Four Horsemen. ten hunger strikers died in all before the strike was called off amid an escalation of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland and a surge of sympathy for the dead republicans among Irish nationalists and Irish America. In elections in Northern Ireland between 1983 and 1984 Sinn Féin averaged 12 per cent of the total vote and 40 per cent of the nationalist vote. Faced with the growing alienation of nationalists in Northern Ireland and British inaction, John Hume and the SDLP concluded that constitutional nationalists needed to develop new policies for Northern Ireland that would provide a path to peace between the two communities.

In his memoirs Garret FitzGerald recalled that when he suc- ceeded Charles Haughey as taoiseach in december 1982, Hume proposed a Council for a New Ireland that would bring together constitutional non-violent nationalist parties in Ireland, but FitzGerald, who wanted to include unionists, thought the term ‘Council’ ‘would remind unionists too forcibly of the “Council of Ireland” proposal in the Sunningdale Agreement’. FitzGerald hoped to secure a two-fold result: ‘a set of principles for the achieve- ment of peace and stability in Northern Ireland’ and the emergence of a number of models, including acceptance of a joint sovereignty or joint authority model that would ‘have eliminated, or at any rate greatly weakened, a possible Fianna Fáil objection to whatever might ultimately emerge from a negotiation, which would inevi- tably be something other than a united Ireland’. In 1980 when he was taoiseach, Haughey had held a meeting with Prime minister Thatcher where, in a secret memo, ‘a joint defence pact was offered in return for political movement’. Thatcher was furious when Irish ministers then claimed a united Ireland would be possible within ten years. relations deteriorated further during the IRA hunger strikes and the Falklands War of 1982.

Hume’s immediate goal was to create an alternative forum to the Northern Ireland Assembly, which the SDLP had boycotted because it lacked an all-Ireland dimension, but he also wished to develop new political initiatives for peace, which had been virtu- ally non-existent since the collapse of Sunningdale in 1974. Hume, FitzGerald and Tánaiste Dick Spring were united in the belief that some type of non-boycottable British–Irish intergovernmental structure would be needed to govern Northern Ireland, given that loyalist and IRA paramilitaries had the ability to destroy internal power-sharing institutions such as those agreed at Sunningdale.

FitzGerald later recalled that when he initially presented the Forum proposal to his Cabinet (a coalition of Fine Gael and labour), it was opposed by twelve votes to two because of fears that the Forum would distract the newly formed government from ‘exceptionally pressing domestic problems’. (The Cabinet’s concerns were understandable given that a previous FitzGerald government had, a year earlier, been defeated over budget proposals.) He subsequently succeeded in securing his Cabinet’s support using the political argument that Haughey as leader of the opposition had indicated he would support Hume’s proposal, putting the government in the embarrassing position of appearing to be ignoring the plight of the north. The political risks involved in convening the Forum were undeniably high. There was always the possibility that the parties would be unable to reach agreement, seriously weakening constitutional nationalism. moreover, FitzGerald and Spring would be committing to a partnership on Northern Ireland with Haughey, potentially limiting their options in government. Notably, in the 1950s, Éamon de Valera as Taoiseach had resisted efforts by Northern Ireland nationalists for an all-Ireland consultative body.

On 11 march 1983 the Irish Government announced the formation of an all-island Forum for ‘consultations on the manner in which lasting peace and stability can be achieved in a new Ireland through the democratic process’. Participation would be ‘open to all democratic parties which reject violence, and which have members elected or appointed to the Oireachtas or the Northern Ireland Assembly’. FitzGerald cleared the announcement with Tánaiste Dick Spring, Haughey and Hume. This initiative would be a bold and risky attempt by constitutional nationalists to head off ‘a possibly disastrous radicalization of Northern nationalist opinion’ and to seize the initiative from a politically paralysed British government. American journalist Steve erlanger wrote in April: ‘British officials admit that Britain finds itself without an effective policy in Northern Ireland and in need of one.’

All the unionist parties and the Alliance Party declined to participate formally in the Forum, but their representatives sent written submissions, and some presented at plenary sessions in Dublin Castle. Thus, the New Ireland Forum, with four participating parties, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Labour Party and the SDLP, representing 80 per cent of the island’s population (and over 90 per cent of Irish nationalists), became the first all-island platform for Irish nationalism since 1920. many observers were sceptical of the exercise; in addition to unionist detractors, there were some in the south who feared that the forum would be a one-sided pan-nationalist body designed to attack the British and unionism. Conor Cruise O’Brien called it the ‘make-believe’ forum and advised John Hume to stay at home. The leader of the Workers’ Party, Tomás Mac Giolla, rejected FitzGerald’s invitation, asserting that the forum’s primary aim was to ‘bail out the SDLP’ and the ‘net effect of your efforts to date has been to close the ranks of unionism and consolidate them behind their age-old slogans and attitudes’ (as quoted by Frank Sheridan). Thatcher thought the Forum ‘complicated things’ and was not impressed by Dublin’s argument that it would buttress John Hume’s position within his community, which was being subverted by Sinn Féin (quoted in Paul routledge’s biography of Hume). However, the Congressional Friends of Ireland in Washington passed a resolution on 17 march declaring that a real solution would require ‘the bold cooperation of the British and Irish governments jointly pursuing, at the highest levels, a new strategy of reconciliation’.

In early may 1983 Thatcher herself ‘complicated things’ for Northern Ireland by calling a general election that resulted in the SDLP securing 17.9 per cent and Sinn Féin 13.4 per cent of the vote, an alarmingly high endorsement of IRA violence. While John Hume won a seat in Foyle/Derry, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams won in West Belfast, with unionists winning the remaining 15 seats. SDLP members Seamus Mallon and Eddie McGrady narrowly missed winning seats. Thatcher meanwhile capitalised on her victory in the Falkland Islands, securing a Conservative Party majority of 144, the largest majority since the Labour landslide of 1945.

Notwithstanding political rivalries, the four party leaders took their duties regarding the forum very seriously from the beginning, holding the first of 56 meetings of their steering group on 14 April 1983. They agreed that they would determine the agenda, the programme of work and deadlines, and then oversee the preparation of the final report. They appointed their most senior and experienced representatives to the forum, with 27 members and 14 alternate members, many of them ministers or former ministers, including minister for Foreign Affairs Peter Barry, Enda Kenny, Maurice Manning, Brian Lenihan, Ray McSharry, Gerry Collins, Frank Cluskey, Mary Robinson, Seamus Mallon, Austin Currie, Joe Hendron, Eddie McGrady and Hugh Logue. each party employed a secretary to engage with its members and the secretariat (members and secretariat are listed in the appendix). The Fianna Fáil secretary was Veronica Guerin, who became a renowned Sunday Independent reporter, later to be brutally murdered by a drug criminal.

The selection of an independent chair for the forum tested relations among the party leaders at the outset, with Haughey vetoing FitzGerald’s initial candidates, declan Costello, a High Court judge and T.K. Whitaker, former Secretary of the department of Finance. Hume, realising that Haughey might veto any nominees from FitzGerald, asked his party colleague Hugh Logue for a suggestion. Logue proposed Colm Ó Heocha, the President of university College Galway and a respected academic. The other three leaders readily accepted Ó Heocha and he turned out to be a brilliant choice. I believe FitzGerald underestimated Ó Heocha’s contribution to the success of the forum when he wrote in his auto-biography, ‘As chairman, he had the wisdom to employ a very loose rein in handling his four headstrong steeds.’ Ó Heocha was subtle but firm in his style; he set a tone of civility and dignity in the public and private proceedings and the respect he earned helped to head off political divisions that threatened to undermine the forum at times. Hume and Spring also worked to ease tensions between FitzGerald and Haughey, who were so different in temperament, substance and political goals.

In keeping with the inter-party nature of the forum, the Steering Group appointed the diligent John (Jack) Tobin, Clerk of the Seanad, as secretary of the forum, with an independent secretariat seconded from the department of the taoiseach (Assistant Secretary Wally Kirwan was the indefatigable and able coordinator) and including Richard O’toole and Frank Sheridan from the department of Foreign Affairs, Hugh Finlay from the National Board of Science and technology, Colm Larkin from the EU Commission, and me from Government Information Services, where I was the deputy head on secondment from the department of Foreign Affairs. many of us as public servants were in uncharted waters, offering advice to and taking instructions from five bosses, a chairman and four party leaders. Ó heocha championed the work of the Secretariat, presenting our advice and research effectively to the steering group and to the forum meetings. I knew all the party leaders quite well, having worked for both FitzGerald and Haughey in the department of the taoiseach and having cooperated closely with Hume when I was press secretary for the Irish government in the united States (he frequently stayed in my apartment in New York and I had stayed with him in Derry). Dick Spring and I had been contemporaries at Trinity College.

With the Northern Ireland Assembly effectively in abeyance and the British government uncertain how to proceed, the political focus shifted to the forum that opened formally in dublin Castle on 30 may 1983, publishing its main report and an impressive eight sectoral reports a year later. In his opening speech, Hume addressed the unionists and the British Government and British people, stressing that ‘This Forum is not a nationalist conspiracy, neither is it a nationalist revival mission … this is the most serious effort that has ever been made by Irish political leaders to face reality … How would we propose to give to unionists an adequate sense of security—physical, religious, political, economic and cultural— in a new Ireland?’ (this and other quotes are taken from the public proceedings of the forum). FitzGerald said he had proposed the forum because ‘we, the people of this State, have not sufficiently stirred ourselves to face reality … so far as we are concerned, the agenda excludes nothing’. Haughey sought to narrow the options of the forum, stating that ‘peace and stability cannot be secured without a withdrawal of the British military and political presence from Northern Ireland’. He discussed ‘some degree of autonomy for Northern Ireland’ (which seemed more to avoid changing laws in the south to accommodate unionists’ views on divorce) and hoped for ‘open minds on a variety of different political structures’. Dick Spring stated that as a socialist party, the Labour Party was pledged to ‘the elimination of all sectarian laws, constitutional provisions and practices, both in the North and South, which are a major factor in dividing the working class’. He concluded by asking if the south was prepared to make changes ‘if we are serious in our aspiration of Irish unity’.

In response to newspaper advertisements and solicitations, the forum received 317 submissions from both parts of Ireland, Great Britain, the United States, Belgium, France and Canada. each party was entitled to invite a number of people to give oral pre- sentations, which resulted in 31 individuals and groups speaking at 11 public meetings from 20 September 1983 to 9 February 1984. Fianna Fáil tended to invite groups and individuals who advocated a united Ireland (Seán macBride, desmond Fennell), whereas the other parties invited people and groups who would raise the uncomfortable unionist concerns that a new Ireland would have to address, including how to pay for a new Ireland, accom- modate a British dimension both politically and culturally, and accomplish the separation of church and state. These included eco- nomics professor louden ryan, British Conservative politician Sir John Biggs-Davison, unionist politicians Christopher and Michael McGimpsey, Bernard Cullen and Richard Kearney (proposing joint sovereignty), and Alliance Party deputy leader Robin Glendinning. RTÉ rendered an immense public service by providing live coverage of the presentations, helping to make Irish public opinion aware of the changes necessary to create an agreed Ireland. The Irish, British and American media were intrigued by the inter-party nature of the forum, which promised to make news, either in terms of a dramatic falling out among the parties or, as happened, a coming together on the realities and changes required for a new Ireland. Jon Nordheimer reported in the New York Times on the opening day of the forum that

It was Mr. Hume who posed the toughest challenges. ‘I suggest that we begin by humbly admitting that no more difficult task ever confronted the Irish people. I suggest that we also understand clearly why we are attempting to do it—not because it would be gratifying to succeed, not because it would be interesting to attempt, not because it would be to our political advantage. Only because it would be dangerously irresponsible not to do this now.’

Since independence, the south, mostly concerned with its own economic and social issues, had been reluctant to become embroiled in the conflict in the north. many of us as students had been deeply influenced by the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland and felt that the united Ireland mantra was a dead end that had both enabled British inaction for decades and empowered unionist discrimination against nationalists.

The widespread media coverage contributed immeasurably to the influence of the forum on audiences in Ireland, Britain and the united States. In addition to the very able journalists reporting for the Irish media, a number of talented journalists covered forum developments for British and American media, including Brendan Keenan for the Financial Times, mary Holland for the Observer and Joe Joyce and Julia langdon for the Guardian. Three renowned RTÉ journalists also consulted with the American television networks: Kevin Healy, NBC; Sean duignan, CBS; and mike Burns, ABC. Working with Sean Farrell, press counsellor at the department of Foreign Affairs, and Pat Hennessy and Michael Collins, heads of press in the Irish embassies in London and Washington respectively, we invited editors from the British, European and American media to attend forum sessions and receive private briefings from party leaders.

My most enduring memory of the forum is the sense of good- will and genuine enquiry that nearly every politician brought to the proceedings. The SdlP members patiently explained the realities of Northern Ireland to members from the south, many of whom had seldom been to Northern Ireland. What clearly united them, despite political and personality tensions among party leaders, members and the advisers, was the overwhelming imperative to stop the violence and killing in Northern Ireland and address its underlying causes. Nationalists in the north were becoming increasingly alienated and, unless something were to be done, the security of Ireland and Britain seemed seriously threatened. A sense of urgency, together with the sheer scale of the forum schedule—28 private sessions, 13 public sessions, 56 Steering Group meetings, plus sub-group meetings—built a greater awareness of what sac- rifices would have to be made to reach agreement on the island. After the fourth public session, the Irish Times wrote in editorial on 6 October: ‘The variety and cogency of the arguments so far heard justify the existence of the forum as a structure for getting the country’s thoughts on the nature of Irish society, and Ireland’s con- stitutional and political future in order.’ Brendan Keenan reported in the Financial Times on 22 August that the forum was consid- ering three major constitutional options, noting that ‘some of the early doubt and cynicism about the body has lessened in the face of evidence that the politicians taking part are treating it seriously’. The article concluded: ‘It is still possible that the Forum will fail to reach agreement, however, the general feeling is that the damage this would do, particularly to the SdlP, is so great that the politi- cians simply cannot afford to fail.’ In his 1984 biography of John Hume (p. 256), Barry White observed: ‘The documentation of the Forum was intended to be the most comprehensive review of Irish partition which had ever been done, with a value for the future of Anglo-Irish relations, which would long outlast the deliberations.’

Haughey more than most seemed determined to assert his prerogative as co-leader of the forum, angrily describing one secretariat paper as a ‘non-paper’ because he disagreed with its contents. On another occasion he forbade television coverage of a public presentation by the Women’s law and research Group because it claimed that women’s rights were better protected in the north. during the group’s presentation, Haughey walked over to the secretariat table and muttered, ‘Who invited these harridans?’ He was always sensitive about media coverage and seemed in two minds about the amount of media coverage I encouraged. One morning, when I had given the BBC permission to film members arriving at Dublin Castle, he became furious and demanded to know why I had not consulted him first. I replied that I had consulted the chair and did not think it necessary to clear everything with the party leaders. That evening, by way of apparent apology, he sought me out to discuss some of the history of the castle. But he had laid down a marker: ‘I too am your boss.’

A forum delegation from the four participating parties visited the north on 26–27 September 1983 and met groups represent- ing a wide range of opinion despite Ian Paisley’s threat to prevent any such development. The only incident was at the everglades Hotel outside derry before one of the meetings. Hume and a few of us had arrived early at the hotel but when Seamus mallon and others drove in, they were attacked in the car park by a group of Paisleyites with wooden staves. The delegates made it to the hotel lobby bruised and angry, but Hume urged everyone to be calm and not to allow the attackers to hijack the news coverage of the positive discussions under way. to add insult to injury, a day later when I was driving mallon down to dublin, we were stopped near Newry by udr members who, despite clearly knowing who he was, insisted that he get out of the car to be identified.

Forum delegates also visited london for consultations in January 1984 with four of the major political parties. The public presenta- tion by the roman Catholic delegation on 9 February 1984 was another first, as political leaders questioned Catholic bishops in a public setting: a situation so unprecedented that the entire island was riveted to the live broadcasts of the proceedings. Bishop Cahal daly stated that the Catholic Church

have not sought and we do not seek a Catholic State for a Catholic people. We believe that the alliance of Church and State is harmful for the Church and harmful for the State … the Catholic Church in Ireland has no power and seeks no power except the power of the gospel.

He continued: ‘We do feel bound to alert the consciences of Catholics to the moral and social evils which, as experience else- where shows, follow from certain kinds of legislative enactment,’ adding that ‘divorce may cause more problems than those it seeks to control.’ Senator mary robinson commented in the Seanad that ‘witnessing the Catholic bishops and their representatives being questioned by politicians at the forum may have marked a modest beginning to a healthy separation of Church and State in Ireland’.

The 41-page forum report finally published on 2 may 1984 provided a breakthrough nationalist consensus of what a new Ireland would require. The report, accurately reflecting what the forum had heard over the previous year, noted the three elements that unionists wished to preserve: Britishness, Protestantism and the economic advantages of the British link (in the past, nationalists might have breezily responded that the unionists were really Irish, citing Irish Protestant rebels such as Wolfe tone and robert emmet). As John Hume put it two years later (in Ireland in the contemporary world, edited by James Dooge):

The Forum laid out a set of criteria which should be met by any initiative aimed at bringing progress towards peace and stability in Ireland and outlined three possible models which would meet those cri- teria. The heart of our approach was summed up in the following proposition: The solution to both the historic problem and the current crisis of Northern Ireland and the continuing problems of relations between Ireland and Britain necessarily requires new structures that will accommodate together two sets of legitimate rights:

• The right of nationalists to effective political, symbolic and administrative expression of their identity; and

• The right of unionists to effective political, symbolic and administrative expression of their identity, their ethos and their way of life.

Significantly, the concept of parity of esteem that was to underpin the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was clearly defined in the forum report:

The validity of both the nationalist and the union- ist identities in Ireland and the democratic rights of every citizen on this island must be accepted: both of these identities must have equally satisfactory, secure and durable, political, administrative and symbolic expression and protection.

In the report as well, democratic Irish nationalism fully subscribed to the consent of a majority in the north, meaning that ‘agreement means that the political arrangements for a new and sovereign Ireland would have to be freely negotiated and agreed to by the people of the North and by the people of the South’.

When the report was published, many observers focused less on the radical new criteria and more on the prescriptive solution preferred by the forum, which stated, ‘The particular structure of political unity which the Forum would wish to see established is a unitary state.’ Haughey had made the selection of only a unitary state a make-or-break issue for Fianna Fáil, fearing no doubt that his republican flank was exposed to Sinn Féin, whose electoral gains had resulted in him losing power in 1981. SdlP deputy leader Seamus mallon supported Haughey, dismissing the idea of presenting three options to the British as a ‘dolly mixture’ letting them choose what they wanted. The other party leaders wanted to offer three options but, feeling that there was value in securing Fianna Fáil’s support for the dramatic new assessment of nationalist and unionist rights, they agreed to a compromise indicating a preference for the unitary state, and adding that two additional ‘structural arrangements were examined in some detail—a federal/ confederal state and joint authority’. The three final chapters of the report discussed these options at equal length. Importantly, the report concluded, ‘The Parties in the Forum also remain open to discuss other views which may contribute to political development.’

The initial failure by some commentators to appreciate the forum’s new assessment of equality between unionists and nation- alists together with nationalist willingness to discuss other political structures was undoubtedly due to Haughey’s press conference at the conclusion of the forum where he misquoted the report, stating ‘the only solution is as stated in the report: a unitary state with a new constitution’. He also rejected the consent agreed in the forum report, saying ‘Nobody is entitled to deny the natural unity is unifi- cation of Ireland.’ most of the media coverage provided a balanced view of the report, but Magill magazine ran a front cover reading ‘How Charlie swung the forum’. unbeknown to the media, Irish government officials were already engaged in serious discussions with British officials on the basis of the new nationalist consensus regarding the rights of unionists and nationalists to equal treatment. They were also exploring joint sovereignty and joint authority, which discussions ultimately led to a new consultative role for Dublin in Northern Ireland as is discussed in later chapters. A Times column written by former British education Secretary Shirley Williams (4 may) recognised the forum report’s achievement: ‘It goes further than the nationalist parties have ever gone before in recognizing and respecting the unionist identity and Protestant ethos as being as valid a part of the Irish tradition as the nationalist identity and Catholic ethos.’ On 2 June, a special Economist survey, ‘The trouble with Ulster’, concluded:

For Britain, the joint authority route is a gamble worth taking because the prize—unlike 1969 and 1972—is lower cost and a reduced (or initially shared) British involvement. It in no way offends the guarantee, although mr. Paisley will say it does. The guarantee remains the top tier of ulster sovereignty. Beneath it, a joint authority composed of Dublin and London ministers, but gradually embracing ulster leaders too, might also concern itself with mr. FitzGerald’s shopping list: economics and trade, agriculture and tourism, issues which are naturally all-Ireland in character.

Although Economist articles have no bylines, this survey owed much to political editor Simon Jenkins and home affairs editor Frances Cairncross, who, like their colleague Brenda Maddox, followed Irish affairs closely.

In an interim response in July, Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Prior accepted ‘the positive value’ in the forum’s exam- ination of nationalist aspirations, its emphasis on the importance of consent, its attempt to understand the unionist identity and its openness to discuss other views. FitzGerald used his power as taoi- seach to begin to sell the emerging forum consensus to the united 45 States, including in an address to a joint session of the US Congress on 15 March. The New York Times (24 November) noted that Prime minister FitzGerald’s ‘Irish Forum broke new ground by proposing not only North–South union or confederation but acknowledging Protestant claims to British identity. It offered a third-choice com- promise of “joint authority” —letting both Britain’s and Ireland’s flags fly in Northern Ireland.’ In addition, President Reagan’s trip to Ireland in June provided a valuable opportunity to influence his thinking, especially as, as Seán donlon noted, reagan’s pressure on Thatcher proved to be pivotal in Dublin–London negotiations during the following months.

While it was politically embarrassing for FitzGerald to be taunted by Haughey after the infamous ‘out, out, out’ comments by Thatcher (Haughey referred to ‘the Britshit Prime minister’ in the dáil exchange with FitzGerald, but then withdrew the remark), The Times noted on 21 November that ‘the analysis of Northern Ireland’s disorders offered in the forum report is endorsed by the British government to a significant extent’. The editorial referred to this analysis, which became part of the language of the summit communique, as ‘Forumese’. The secretary of the British Cabinet, Sir robert Armstrong, astutely noted later that ‘with its reexam- ination of the aspirations of Irish nationalism, the New Ireland Forum report gave him [FitzGerald] an opportunity to go into negotiations with somewhat more room for maneuver than he might otherwise have had’. Armstrong also observed that in 1983, FitzGerald and Thatcher ‘had won elections and enjoyed the pros- pect of four years in office’, offering a rare timeline to sign and implement a new political initiative without electoral disruption (see Northern Ireland and the politics of reconciliation, edited by Dermot Keogh and Michael Haltzel, pp. 205–6).

The eminent historian J.J.Lee noted the historical importance of the forum—‘The influence of the Forum can be detected in the analysis of the situation underlying the [Anglo-Irish] Agreement’— especially in proposing equality of identity as the solution and in accepting that unionists would have no veto on policy formulation within Northern Ireland (Ireland 1912–1985: politics and society, pp. 681–2). It took imagination and political courage to redefine Irish nationalism, without which there would have been no Anglo-Irish Agreement; almost certainly the spiral of violence would have increased, leading to the breakdown of society in Ireland: a break- down we have witnessed in many other countries that have failed to overcome differences. In retrospect, it is clear that the twelve months devoted to the New Ireland forum by leading politicians, civil servants, academics and the media provided the basis for the equality of the nationalist and unionist identities, a radical new departure on the long road to peace and equal rights in Ireland. Above all, FitzGerald, Hume and Spring had succeeded in widening the mandate of Irish nationalism, which greatly strengthened their hand in negotiations with Thatcher and the British government over the following years.



Gerry Adams, member of Provisional Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin president
Bertie Ahern, leader of Fianna Fáil 1994–2008, taoiseach 1998–2008
Dermot Ahern
, Fianna Fáil politician, minister for foreign affairs 2004–8
Martti Ahtisaari
, president of Finland 1994–2000, member of the Independent International Commission on decommissioning in Northern Ireland, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2008
Julian Amery (1919–96), Conservative MP 1952–92, member of the monday Club
David Andrews, Fianna Fáil TD 1977–2002, minister of state at department of Foreign Affairs 1977–79, minister for foreign affairs 1997–2000
Robert Armstrong, principal private secretary to British prime minister 1970–9; permanent secretary, Home Office 1977–79; Cabinet secretary 1979–87
Donal Barrington (1928–2018), barrister, supreme court justice, author of tuairim pamphlet Uniting Ireland 1958
Peter Barry (1928–2016), deputy leader of Fine Gael 1977–87, 1991–3; minister for foreign affairs 1982–7
Ray Bassett, department of Foreign Affairs
Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist Party, Westminster MP 1983–2005
Sandy Berger (1945–2015), united States National Security Advisor 1997–2001
Bill Benyon (1930–2014), Conservative MP 1970–92
Sir John Biggs-Davison (1918–88), Conservative MP 1970–88, member of monday Club
Tony Blair, British prime minister 1997–2007
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, permanent secretary to Northern Ireland power-sharing executive 1974, head of Northern Ireland civil service 1984–91
Leon Brittan (1939–2015), Conservative MP, home secretary 1983–5, EU commissioner 1989–99
Peter Brooke, Conservative MP 1977–2001, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1989–92
Joe Brosnan, secretary-general, department of Justice 1991–3; member of Independent monitoring Commission
John Bruton, leader of Fine Gael 1990–2001, taoiseach 1994–7
Sir Antony Buck (1928–2003), Conservative MP 1961–93
Nicholas Budgen (1937–98), Conservative MP 1974–97
Robin Butler, principal private secretary to the prime minister 1982–85, Cabinet secretary 1988–98
David Byrne, attorney general 1997–9, EU commissioner 1999–2004
James (Jim) Callaghan (1912–2005), home secretary 1967–70, foreign secretary 1974–7, prime minister 1977–9

Hugh Carey (1919–2011), governor of New york State 1975–82, one of the ‘Four Horsemen’ Jimmy Carter, US president 1977–81
Peter Carrington (1919–2018), secretary of state for defence 1970–4, foreign secretary 1979–82
John Chilcot, civil servant, Home Office and Cabinet Office; permanent under-secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1990–7
Bill Clarke, US assistant secretary of state for political–military affairs 1989–92
Bill Clinton, US president 1993–2001
Gerard Collins, Fianna Fáil TD 1967–97, minister for justice 1977–81, 1987–9; minister for foreign affairs 1982, 1989–92
Padraic Collins, department of Foreign Affairs Tom Conaty, chair of Belfast Central Citizens defence Committee and community activist, 1970s
Don Concannon (1930–2003), labour MP 1966–87, under-secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1974–6, minister of State for Northern Ireland 1976–9
Robin Cook (1946–2005), labour MP 1966–2005, foreign secretary 1997–2001
David Cooney, department of Foreign Affairs
Brendan Corish (1918–90), leader of labour Party 1960–77, tánaiste 1973–77
Liam Cosgrave (1920–2017), leader of Fine Gael 1965–77, taoiseach 1973–7
Declan Costello (1926–2011), attorney general 1973–7
David Crouch (1919–98), Conservative MP 1966–87
Bernard Cullen, department of Foreign Affairs
Austin Currie, member of Northern Ireland Parliament 1964–72, member of Northern Ireland Civil rights Association, founding member SDLP, Fine Gael td 1989–2002, minister of state at department of Justice 1994–7
John Cushnahan, leader of the Alliance Party 1984–7

Cardinal Cahal Daly (1917–2009), Bishop of Down and Connor 1982–90, Archbishop of Armagh 1990–6
Edward Daly (1933–2016), priest who was present during Bloody Sunday, February 1972; bishop of derry 1974–94
General John de Chastelain, Canadian armed forces 1996–8, one of the international chairmen overseeing talks that led to Good Friday Agreement, member of Independent International Commission on decommissioning
Éamon de Valera (1882–1975), taoiseach 1932–48, 1951–4, 1957–9; president of Ireland 1959–73
Pat Doherty, vice-president of Sinn Féin 1988–2009, member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2017
Alf Dubs, labour MP 1979–87, life peer 1997, parliamentary under-secretary at Northern Ireland Office 1997–9
Robin Eames, Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland 1986–2009
David Ervine (1953–2007), member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2007, leader of Progressive Unionist Party 2002–7
Ronan Fanning (1941–2017), professor of modern history, university College dublin 1985–2007
Sean Farrell, department of Foreign Affairs
Fr Denis Faul (1932–2006), priest and civil rights campaigner
Brian Faulkner (1921–77), last prime minister of Northern Ireland (1971–2), chief executive of the Northern Ireland executive 1974
Sir Nicholas Fenn, UK ambassador to Ireland 1986–91
Desmond Fennell, writer and commentator
Garret FitzGerald (1926–2011), minister for foreign affairs 1973–77, leader of Fine Gael 1977–87, taoiseach 1981–2, 1982–7 Pádraig Flynn, Fianna Fáil td 1977–94, minister for justice 1993–4, EU commissioner 1993–9
George Foulkes, labour MP 1979–2005
Sir Marcus Fox (1927–2002), Conservative MP 1970–97, vice-chair (1983–94) and chair (1994–7) of 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs

Dermot Gallagher
(1944–2017), Irish ambassador to the USA 1991–7, second secretary at department of the taoiseach 1997–9, key role in GFA, secretary-general of department of the taoiseach 2000–2, secretary-general of department of Foreign Affairs 2002–9
Eamonn Gallagher (1926–2009), department of Foreign Affairs, EU official Dermot Gleeson, attorney general 1994–7
Robin Glendinning, founding member of Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
David Goodall (1931–2016), deputy-secretary Cabinet Office, deputy under-secretary Foreign Office 1982–7
Ian Gow (1937–90), Conservative MP 1974–90, parliamentary private secretary to prime minister Thatcher, assassinated by Provisional IRA
Grey Gowrie, Scottish hereditary peer, born dublin, Conservative politician
Baron Hailsham (1907–2001), Conservative politician, Lord chancellor 1970–4, 1979–87
Mary Harney, td 1981–2002, tánaiste 1997–2006, leader of Progressive democrats 1993–2006
Roy Hattersley, labour MP 1964–97; deputy leader of labour 1983–92
Charles Haughey (1925–2006), Fianna Fáil td 1957–92; Cabinet minister 1961–70, 1977–9; leader of Fianna Fáil 1979–92; taoiseach 1979–81, 1982, 1987–92
Ted Heath, Conservative politician, British prime minister 1970–4
Joe Hendron, SDLP politician
Jack Hermon (1928–2008), chief constable of RUC 1980–9
Patrick Hillery (1923–2008), Fianna Fáil TD 1951–73, minister for external affairs 1969–73, EEC commissioner 1973–6, president of Ireland 1976–90
John Holmes, UK diplomat, private secretary and principal private secretary to prime minister 1995–9
Geoffrey Howe (1926–2015), Conservative MP 1974–92, foreign secretary 1983–9
John Hume, founding member SdlP, leader 1979–2001; member Northern Ireland Parliament 1969–72, European Parliament 1979– 2004, UK Parliament 1983–2005, Northern Ireland Assembly (1998–2000); Nobel Peace Prize winner 1998
Douglas Hurd, Conservative MP 1974–7, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1984–5, home secretary 1985–9, foreign secretary 1989–95

Edward Kennedy (1932–2000), senator for Massachusetts 1962–2009
Tom King, Conservative politician, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1985–9
Neil Kinnock, leader of (British) labour Party 1983–92
Wally Kirwan, department of the taoiseach
Julia Langdon, British journalist
Seán Lemass (1899–1971), Fianna Fáil TD 1927–66, taoiseach 1959–66
Brian Lenihan (1930–95), Fianna Fáil TD 1961–73, 1977–95; tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs 1987–9
Hugh Logue, member of Northern Ireland Civil rights Association, SDLP politician, member of New Ireland Forum
Lord Lowry (1919–99), lord chief justice of Northern Ireland 1971–88, chair of Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention 1975
Jack Lynch (1917–99), Fianna Fáil TD 1948–81, taoiseach 1966–73, 1977–9
Alistair McAlpine (1942–2014), treasurer of Conservative Party 1979–90
Seán MacBride (1904–88), leader of Clann na Poblachta 1948–65, minister for external affairs 1951–4, Nobel Peace Prize winner 1974, Lenin Peace Prize winner 1975–6, author of ‘MacBride principles’ relating to employment discrimination in Northern Ireland
Robert McCartney, unionist politician, expelled from UUP 1987, founder/leader of UK Unionist Party 1995–2008, Westminster MP 1995–2001, member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2007
John McColgan, department of Foreign Affairs
Bob McDonagh, department of Foreign Affairs
Christopher McGimpsey, UUP politician, member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2016
Michael McGimpsey, UUP politician, member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2016
P.J. McGrory, Belfast solicitor
Tomás Mac Giolla (1924–2010), leader of (sequentially) Sinn Féin, Official Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin —the Workers’ Party and the Workers’ Party 1962–88; td 1982–92
Eddie McGrady (1935–2013), nationalist politician, founding member of SDLP, Westminster MP 1987–2010, member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2003
Martin McGuinness (1950–2017), prominent member of Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland 2007–17
Eamonn McKee, department of Foreign Affairs
Mitchel McLaughlin, general secretary of Sinn Féin, member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2016
Kevin McNamara (1924–2017), British labour Party spokesman on Northern Ireland 1984–97
Rev. Roy Magee, Presbyterian minister, intermediary between the Combined loyalist military Command and the Irish and British governments
John Major, Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader 1990–7, MP 1979–2001
Seamus Mallon, deputy leader of SDLP 1979–2001, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland 1998–2001
Roy Mason (1924–2015), labour politician, defence secretary 1974–6, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1976–9
Patrick (Paddy) Mayhew (1929–2016), Conservative MP 1974–97, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1992–7
George Mitchell, United States special envoy for Northern Ireland 1995–2001
James Molyneaux (Baron Molyneaux of Killead) (1920–2015), leader of Ulster Unionist Party 1974–96
Mo Mowlam (1949–2005), labour MP 1987–2001, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1997–9
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927–2003), US senator for New York State 1977–2001
Fr Raymond Murray, priest of archdiocese of Armagh, champion of republican prisoners
Paul Murphy, labour MP 1987–2015, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 2002–5

Dermot Nally (1927–2009) department of the taoiseach, assistant secretary 1973–78, deputy-secretary 1978–80, secretary 1980–92
Airey Neave (1916–79), Conservative MP 1953–79; shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland; assassinated by INlA bomb fitted to his car, which detonated at Westminster
Richard Needham, Conservative MP 1979–97, under-secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1985–92
Tauno Nieminen, brigadier-general in Finnish Army, member of Independent International Commission on decommissioning Conor Cruise O’Brien (1917–2008), diplomat, writer, labour TD 1969–77, minister for posts and telegraphs 1973–7
Dáithí Ó Conaill (1938–91), member of Provisional IRA army council and vice-president of Sinn Féin; broke with Sinn Féin in 1986, becoming chairman of Republican Sinn Féin
Liz O’Donnell, Progressive democrat TD 1992–2007, minister of state at department of Foreign Affairs 1997–2002
Declan O’Donovan, department of Foreign Affairs
Philip (Paddy) O’Donoghue (1896–1987), judge of the European Court of Human rights
Cardinal Tomas Ó Fiaich (1923–90), roman Catholic archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland, 1977–90
Paddy O’Hanlon (1944–2009), Northern Ireland MP 1969–72, founding member of SDLP
Colm Ó hEocha (1926–97), president of university College Galway 1975–97, chairman of New Ireland Forum 1983–4
Des O’Malley, Fianna Fáil politician, founder and first leader of Progressive democrats, minister of justice 1970–73
Terence O’Neill (1914–90), Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of Ulster Unionist Party 1963–9
Tip O’Neill (1912–94), Speaker of US House of representatives 1977– 87, democratic Party politician
Ian Paisley (1926–2014), founder of democratic unionist Party 1971, leader 1971–2008, first minister of Northern Ireland Assembly 2007–8
Charles Powell, private secretary to Margaret Thatcher 1983–90 and John Major 1990–1
Enoch Powell, Conservative MP 1950–74; Ulster Unionist Party MP for South Down 1974–87
Jonathan Powell, chief of staff to Tony Blair and chief negotiator on Northern Ireland 1997–2007
Jim Prior, Conservative secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1981–4
Declan Quigley
, legal official in the office of the attorney general Cyril Ramaphosa, South African politician, member of Independent International Commission on Decommissioning 2000–1, president of South Africa 2018–19
Gordon Reece, journalist, media expert and adviser to prime minister Margaret Thatcher
Merlyn Rees, labour MP, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1974–6, home secretary 1976–9

Fr Alec Reid (1931–2013), redemptorist priest based in Clonard monastery, Belfast; a key intermediary between Sinn Féin/IRA and Irish and British governments
Albert Reynolds (1932–2014), taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil 1992–4
Mary Robinson, president of Ireland 1990–7, senator 1969–89
Brid Rogers, Involved in Civil rights movement, founding member of SDLP, minister for agriculture and rural development, Northern Ireland, 1999–2002
George Seawright (1951–87), Unionist politician and paramilitary, assassinated 1987 by Irish People’s liberation Organisation
Andy Sens, former US diplomat, member of staff of Independent International Commission on Decommissioning
Clare Short, labour MP 1983–2006, independent MP 2006–10, member of Blair Cabinet 1997–2003
Joe Small, department of Foreign Affairs
Clive Soley, labour MP 1979–2005
Dick Spring, leader of Irish labour Party 1982–97, tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs 1994–7
Ivor Stanbrook (1924–2004), Conservative MP 1970–92
Jim Steinberg, deputy national security advisor to US President Bill Clinton 1996–2000
Sir Ninian Stephen (1923–2017), Australian judge and governor-general of Australia, chairman of Anglo-Irish strand of Northern Ireland peace talks 1992
John Swift, department of Foreign Affairs
John Taylor, unionist politician, member of Northern Ireland parliament 1965–72, Westminster MP 1983–2001, member of Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2007, deputy leader of Ulster Unionist Party 1998–2007
Norman Tebbit, Conservative MP and Cabinet minister; his wife was seriously injured in 1984 Brighton bombing
Peter Temple-Morris (1938–2018), MP 1970–2001; Conservative, joined labour Party 1998
Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013), British prime minister 1979–90
David Trimble (Baron Trimble), leader of Ulster Unionist Party 1995– 2005, first minister of Northern Ireland 1998–2002 Andrew (Andy) Ward (1926–99), secretary of department of Justice 1971–86
T.K. Whitaker (1916–2017), secretary of department of Finance, Governor of the Central Bank, key contact behind the first meeting between taoiseach Sean Lemass and Northern Ireland Prime minister Terence O’Neill, adviser on Northern Ireland to taoiseach
Jack lynch William (Willie) Whitelaw (1918–99), Conservative politician, MP 1954–83, House of lords 1983–99, first secretary of state for Northern Ireland
Shirley Williams, British labour politician and founding member of Social democratic Party Harold Wilson (1916–95), labour politician, prime minister 1964–70 and 1974–6
John Wilson (1923–2007), Fianna Fáil TD 1973–99, tánaiste 1990–3; Irish Victims’ Commissioner
Larry Wren (1922–2016), commissioner of an Garda Síochána 1983–7
Billy Wright (1960–97), member of paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force, broke UVF ceasefire 1994, established loyalist Volunteer Force; assassinated in maze Prison 1997

Members and Secretariat of the New Ireland Forum FIANNA FáIl (members and Alternates)

Charles J. Haughey TD, Brian Lenihan TD, David Andrews TD, Gerry Collins TD, Eileen Lemass TD,
Ray macSharry TD, rory O’Hanlon TD, Jim tunney TD, John Wilson TD, david molony TD, Paudge Brennan TD,
Jackie Fahey TD, Jimmy leonard TD, John O’leary TD (Secretary: Veronica Guerin).
Fine Gael (members and Alternates) Garret FitzGerald TD (taoiseach), Peter Barry TD (minister for Foreign Affairs), Myra Barry TD, Senator James Dooge, Paddy Harte TD, John Kelly TD, Enda Kenny TD, Maurice Manning TD, Nora Owen TD, Ivan Yates TD (Secretary: John Fanagan).
Labour Party (members and alternates) Dick Spring TD (tánaiste and minister for energy), Frank Cluskey TD, Senator Stephen McGonagle, Frank Prendergast TD, Mervyn Taylor TD, Eileen Desmond TD, Senator Mary Robinson (Secretary: Diarmaid McGuinness).
Social democratic and Labour Party (members and alternates) John Hume MP, MEP, Seamus Mallon, Austin Currie, Joe Hendron, E.K. McGrady, Sean Farren, Frank Feely, Hugh Logue, Paddy O’Donoghue, Paschal O’Hare (Secretary: Denis Haughey).
Other members: Walter Kirwan (coordinator), Kieran Coughlan, Hugh Finlay, Colin Larkin, Martin McMahon, Ciaran Murphy, Richard O’Toole, Frank Sheridan, Ted Smyth. Admistration, Press and Secretariat Staff Margaret Beatty, Josie Briody, Nora Daffy, Nuala Donnelly, Theresa Enright, Jacqueline Garry, Desmond Morgan, Mary O’Leary, Kathleen Redmond, Patrick Sherlock. 


Ted Smyth, a former Irish diplomat in the United States, Great Britain, Portugal and Switzerland, he also served in the New Ireland Forum and the department of the taoiseach. later he was chief administrative officer at the H.J. Heinz company and executive vice-president at mcGraw-Hill.

Mary E. Daly, MRIA is Professor emerita in modern Irish history at UCD and a member of the expert Advisory Group on Commemorations. She served as president of the Royal Irish Academy, 2014–17. Her recent publications include Sixties Ireland: Reshaping the Economy, State and Society, 1957–73 (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and The Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland (Cambridge university Press, 2017), co-edited with Eugenio F. Biagini.


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