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Northern Ireland: 1968-98 - Attempts At Agreement 1973-1995
A pre-condition of peace in Northern Ireland was a ceasefire by the paramilitaries.

Northern Ireland: 1968-98 - Attempts At Agreement 1973-1995

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In the absence of any peace agreement between the different parties, the UK government took over responsibility for Northern Ireland in the form of "Direct Rule" in 1972. They were, however, anxious to hand power back to a local executive as soon as possible. They also hoped that such an executive would be able to deal with Northern Ireland's deeper problems and bring peace.

The so-called "Power-Sharing Executive" was set up in November 1973 containing members of three of Northern Ireland's political parties. Which of the following four parties was not involved?
The Alliance Party
The Social Democratic and Labor Party
Sinn Fein
Northern Ireland politics ran on sectarian lines: Protestants voted Unionist and Catholics Republican. If the new government did not enjoy the support of a wide range of opinion, its prospects for success - and even survival - did not look great
The UK government proceeded to hold a conference at Sunningdale to discuss ways of bringing the Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland) directly into some aspects of the Province's life, like tourism and fisheries. The proposal was that a cross-border body would ensure this. What was this body going to be called?
The Irish Council
The Cross-Border Council
The All-Ireland Council
The Council of Ireland
Unionists were predictably suspicious of such plans which they regarded as stepping-stones to a United Ireland
In May 1974 the Power-Sharing Executive collapsed under the pressure of a general strike, called by the Ulster Workers' Council in opposition to the Sunningdale Agreement. Which Unionist Prime Minister resigned at this time?
Ian Paisley
Brian Faulkner
Terence O'Neill
Robin Chichester-Clark
So it was now back to direct rule, until the Province's squabbling politicians could agree on something else
The Anglo-Irish Agreement, signed in November 1985, represented an advance. Which British Prime Minister signed it?
Margaret Thatcher
John Major
Jim Callaghan
Edward Heath
This agreement was accepted both by the Dail (the parliament of the Irish Republic) and the House of Commons. It was even registered at the UN as an international treaty
In 1993 John Major and John Reynolds signed a further agreement that lead the way ultimately to the 1998 settlement. By what name was this initial deal known?
The Downing Street Memorandum
The Downing Street Declaration
The Downing Street Accords
The Downing Street Agreement
There is no doubt that this deal was a further stepping-stone to the major accomplishment of the1998 treaty
A pre-condition of any lasting peace was a ceasefire declaration, both by the IRA and by the "Loyalist" paramilitaries. In which year did both of these antagonistic groups announce a ceasefire?
There was a temporary return to violence by the IRA, but both sides had resumed their "totally unarmed strategy" before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998
Which US president played a crucial role in creating the 1998 deal by visiting the Province twice (in 1995 and 1998), and by promising substantial US aid in the event of a definitive peace agreement?
Ronald Reagan
George Bush, Senior
George W. Bush
Bill Clinton
The US dimension is crucial. Clinton promised financial assistance to Northern Ireland, and had influence with the large Irish-American community
Another American, the experienced and respected peace broker Senator George Mitchell, was entrusted with recommending a process to deal with one of Northern Ireland's persistent issues. Which of the following topics was he asked to investigate in 1995?
The release from jail of convicted IRA and "Loyalist" terrorists
The Royal Ulster Constabulary: the clear bias in favor of Protestants over Catholics in appointing officers to the police force
Parades: trying to find ways of permitting marches from each community so as to avoid inter-communal violence
Paramilitary weapons: trying to ensure that all such weapons were "de-commissioned" beyond use
All of these vital questions needed to be addressed if an agreement was to be reached, and to be honored
Which of Tony Blair's Northern Ireland Secretaries visited the Maze Prison near Belfast to assure inmates from each community that any peace deal would include substantial releases of convicted prisoners?
Peter Mandelson
Mo Mowlam
Shaun Woodward
Roy Mason
Such a visit took courage: these were very violent men with a record of appalling crimes
Both the UK and the Republic of Ireland had joined this international organization, and the latter especially was clearly deriving benefit from membership. In the event of a final peace settlement this body was prepared to invest substantially in the Province. Which body?
The United Nations
The European Union
The European Free Trade Association
The investment promised to follow a definitive peace settlement was a strong incentive to work for one, and to ensure that it was voted for in any future referendum
Author:  Edward Towne

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