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Intergovernmental relations between Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland 1966-1974

This thesis investigates how relations between the government of Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland changed in the early years of the Northern Ireland Troubles until the collapse of the Sunningdale executive in May 1974. Specifically this research looks at the three relations studying many of the important aspects of intergovernmental relations within the three jurisdictions at the time and using a wide range of examples to demonstrate how the primary driver in relations between all three jurisdictions moved from economic to political, security and intelligence by 1972 and how these relationships grew and developed before their eventual collapse in the months following the Ulster Workers’ Council Strike. Primarily this study is based on archive research in London, Dublin and Belfast at the official national archives of the three states. However it has also made use of interviews with officials. It includes new insight into negotiations for membership of the EEC, Territorial Seas Delimitation, the Arms Crisis, British relations with Terence O’Neill (and the Northern Ireland government’s opinion of the British), the preparations for internment and Direct Rule, the origins of the Northern Ireland Office and the Irish government’s relations with Northern Ireland’s nationalists. This thesis, using recently released sources, challenges a number of conclusions from previously published research, particularly into North-South relations after 1966, and Britain’s preparations for sending British troops in support of the Northern Ireland government. Significantly, this PhD also demonstrates a long series of British attempts at the end of 1972 and throughout 1973 to tease the Irish government into increasing their border security operations. In doing so it explains the Sunningdale Agreement in the context of a relationship between the Cosgrave and Heath governments that went far beyond what was known at the time and was dependent to a far greater extent on security cooperation than has previously been accepted.
Date January 2009
CreatorsCraig, Anthony
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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