Anglo Irish Agreement 1985

The agreement gave the Republic of Ireland an advisory role in Northern Ireland for the first time. Mr Thatcher hoped to establish a bilateral agreement with Dublin that would enhance security while recognising the « Irish dimension »: the historical and cultural relations between the Republic and Northern Ireland. By recognising these Irish ties and giving Dublin an advisory role in Northern Ireland – without renouncing British sovereignty – Thatcher hoped to win moderate nationalists in the six counties. After the Milan interview dispelled any lingering doubts about Mrs Thatcher`s willingness to act, the negotiations proceeded quickly. Until the end of July, officials had prepared the outlines of an agreement and it was up to the respective cabinets to make the necessary decisions on three or four contentious issues. Dick Spring, the Irish Deputy Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Barry, met with Howe and Hurd in London. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald were signed on 17 November 1985 at Hillsborough Castle. [1] The operation of the IGC has been carefully defined. (The term « conference » was used in place of the Council or Commission, partly because the number and identity of the ministers present should vary according to the topics discussed and, on the other hand, because « conference » seems less structured and sustainable and could therefore be less intimidating for trade unionists.) The Intergovernmental Conference will meet either at the ministerial or official level, its meetings will be « regular and frequent » and its activities « will be taken into consideration at the highest level. » The Irish minister, appointed permanent representative of Irish ministers, and the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland should be co-chairs. The agreement provides for the creation of a joint secretariat to monitor IGC decisions and plan future sessions.