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Northern Ireland Downing Street Joint Declaration (1993)

WORK IN PROGRESS - This project is still under development. It models a series of formal and informal negotiations which led to the publication, in December 1993, of a declaration issued jointly by the British and Irish Governments. The Joint Declaration was a critical policy document which paved the way for a ceasefire and the entry of Sinn Féin into formal talks. It also laid out a shared set of principles – including, crucially, self-determination for the people of Ireland subject to the consent of the people of Northern Ireland – which would come to underpin the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and provide a framework for its ratification.

Source material

John Alderdice Collection

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Writing Peace: John Alderdice Collection

From the mid-1980s, John, now Lord, Alderdice, was intimately involved in the Irish peace process. His archive spans more than thirty years of negotiation and implementation, from his early days in the Alliance Party in the 1980s, through his leadership of the party during several phases of multi-party talks in the 1990s, to the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement during his time as the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly. It also includes a small section on the Sunningdale Conference, inherited from previous party leaders, as a testimony to the origins of the 1998 Agreement. The section of Lord Alderdice's archive digitized as part of this project focuses primarily on his role in the Multi-Party Talks of the 1990s. A wider collection of his papers, documenting his contribution to liberal politics and conflict resolution in other countries, is held in the McClay Library at Queen’s University in Belfast. The Alderdice papers to which Quill originally had access were catalogued and arranged chronologically in three subsections, 1985-1992 (particularly focusing on 1991-1992), 1992-1995, and 1996-1998, representing the three main attempts to reach agreement in the 1990s. Papers handed over by Lord Alderdice after this initial cataloguing process had been completed are currently in a separate box and span the whole period. This collection was catalogued and digitized by Ruth Murray, Harriet Carter, Sofia Panourgias and Annabel Harris.

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