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Abstract

The period of the ‘Troubles’ covering the years 1972–76 witnessed what Paul Dixon has termed the ‘First Northern Ireland Peace Process’1. For this study the term serves as a useful but not literal framework to assess the nature of two aspects of an attempt to create conditions that might have moderated the intensity of the conflict: the power-sharing/North-South arrangements agreed in multiparty talks; and the contacts between the Provisional IRA and the British Government. This book does not deal with specific events, such as the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) strike, that brought down the power-sharing and North-South arrangements of 1973–74; rather it deals with the formulation of policy that took place between principal protagonists that were engaged in negotiations and talks — primarily the British and Irish Governments, the constitutional parties in Northern Ireland (excluding the Democratic Unionist Party and Vanguard) and the Provisional IRA. Thus this study is not concerned with the bringing down of the settlement but with the concepts and strategies behind that agreement, and with engaging in the academic debate as it currently stands as to who was most successful in achieving their strategic aims in the negotiations. This is also the intention of this study with regard to the British-Republican contacts from 1972–76 which led to IRA ceasefires during this period. In this respect it is not a comprehensive study of why the power-sharing/North-South arrangements failed — which is provided in Michael Kerr’s seminal work.2

Keywords

Security Force Irish Recognition British State Peace Settlement Unionist Majority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Paul Dixon, Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace (Palgrave Macmillan: 2008).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Michael Kerr, The Destructors: The Story of Northern Ireland’s Lost Peace Process (Irish Academic Press: 2011).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gordon Gillespie, ‘The Sunningdale Agreement: Lost Opportunity or an Agreement too Far?’, Irish Political Studies, (1998) 13: 1, 100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brian Faulkner, Memoirs of a Statesman (Littlehampton: 1978) pp.236–237.Google Scholar
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    P.J. McLoughlin, ‘“Dublin Is Just a Sunningdale Away”? The SDLP and the Failure of Northern Ireland’s Sunningdale Experiment’, Twentieth Century British History, (2008) 20, 88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Shaun McDaid, Template for Peace: Northern Ireland 1972–75 (Manchester University Press: 2013) pp.181–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Michael Kerr, Imposing Power-Sharing. Conflict and Coexistence in Northern Irelandand Lebanon (Dublin: 2006) pp.64–65.Google Scholar
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    Christopher Farrington, ‘Reconciliation or Irredentism? The Irish Government and the Sunningdale Communiqué of 1973’ Contemporary European History, (February 2007) 16: 1, 104–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Cillian McGrattan, ‘Dublin, the SDLP and the Sunningdale Agreement: Maximalist Nationalism and Path Dependency’, Contemporary British History, (2009) 23: 1, 63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Tony Craig, ‘Monitoring the Peace?: Northern Ireland’s 1975 Ceasefire Incident Centres and the Politicisation of Sinn Féin’, Terrorism and Political Violence, (2014) 26: 2, 308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 18.
    Robert White, “The 1975 British-Provisional IRA Truce in Perspective,” ÉireIreland, (2010) 45:3&4, 219.Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    Niall Ó Dochartaigh, ‘“The Contact”: Understanding a Communication Channel Between the British Government and the IRA’ in Public Diplomacy, Cultural Interventions & the Peace Process in Northern Ireland: Track Two to Peace?, edited by Joseph J. Popiolkowski and Nicholas J. Cull (Figueroa, 2009 ).Google Scholar
  13. 24.
    John Bew, Martyn Frampton and Inigo Gurruchaga, Talking to Terrorists. Making Peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country (London: 2009) p. 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Thomas Hennessey 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Hennessey
    • 1
  1. 1.Canterbury Christ Church UniversityUK

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