The conclusion draws together the main strands of the interview findings and reiterates the key shifts that occurred from the Good Friday Agreement on. It highlights the problems involved in implementing the structures of peace and notes how a shift from ambiguity to clarity as a peace process goes on can create problems of rigidity and intransigence which make the promise of peace harder to achieve and can sour political relations as a result.
This chapter identifies how a consensual approach to negotiations was developed between the Irish and British Governments and how this approach informed understanding about what an agreement would look like.
This chapter explores how the Irish worked to shape the course of Sunningdale, what went wrong, what happened afterwards and how relations developed between Dublin and the British, moving towards the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the increased role of Irish involvement in the affairs of Northern Ireland.
This chapter is concerned with how leadership operates in a peace process and examines how decisions were used to reinforce leadership goals and objectives in order to increase the possibilities of agreement
This chapter examines how the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation informed approaches to negotiation and looks at how the tensions of North-South relations were played out through Strand Two of the negotiations.
This chapter examines how the Downing Street Declaration was created and how the Irish sought to develop the peace process. In particular, it looks at the complication of text and principles as well as conceptual areas and strategy.
This chapter explores the role of relationship-building and how the informality of contacts that were developed in republican and loyalist communities through conversation and regular contacts helped to influence political responses and positions.
This study is the most comprehensive account yet of how the Irish Government worked to bring the Northern Ireland conflict to an end. Based on single long-form interviews with key officials it throws new light on how tensions and problems that emerged in the search for peace were confronted and overcome to bring about the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. This first of two volumes looks at previous attempts to develop peace as with Sunningdale and the Anglo-Irish Agreement before focusing on the foundations of the peace process that followed. The interviews reveal the iterative nature of the peace process and through the voices of those on the inside provide the most dramatic and authoritative picture yet of how that process came to change the course of history. Taking the reader into the heart of the negotiating room, this study provides an invaluable series of testimonies about Irish Government efforts to end conflict in Northern Ireland.
This second of two volumes on the Irish Government’s role in forging the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and implementing the political power-sharing mechanisms and institutions that followed provides the most expansive account yet of the peace process from the Irish perspective. Drawing from extended interviews with key officials and political leaders, this volume details the challenges faced in managing the peace process to reach agreement, before working to oversee the establishment and implementation of the institutions that resulted from agreement. The interviews in this volume address key areas such a building relationships, trust, confidence, strategic management, pragmatism, engaging militant protagonists and meeting the challenges of leadership, to create a definitive picture of the issues faced by the Irish Government in the attempt to end conflict in Northern Ireland.
The introduction gives an overview of the areas covered, the people interviewed and the political context that allowed the peace process to develop. It also highlights the importance of inclusivity, compromise, relationships and the dynamics that gave shape and trajectory to the process. Significantly, the introduction identifies the value of relationships and how those relationships came to solidify the aim of achieving peace and ending conflict in Northern Ireland.