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Northern Ireland Downing Street Joint Declaration (1993)

Writing Peace

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.

Cite as: Ian McBride, Ruth Murray, Annabel Harris, and Nicholas P. S. Cole, Northern Ireland Downing Street Joint Declaration (1993), Quill Project at Pembroke College (Oxford, 2024).

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Source Material (11)

Delegations (7)

Committees (26)

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Writing Peace: Dermot Nally Collection

This collection is one box (P254) from a larger selection of Dermot Nally's papers held in the University College Dublin Archives. The documents in the box relate to the development of the Downing Street Joint Declaration, made by the British and Irish Governments in 1993. Dermot Nally led the Irish government team during the negotiations. The collection was digitised in July 2023 by Kate Manning, the Principal Archivist at UCD, and the catalogue was written by Niamh Collins.

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.

Writing Peace: The National Archives of the UK (TNA)

A selection of material relating to the Northern Irish Peace Process scanned at The National Archives. The files are mainly taken from the CJ 4 series (Northern Ireland Office records) and the PREM series (Office of the Prime Minister records). The organization of the files reflects their physical location within the Archive at Kew. Documents collated and catalogued by Annabel Harris, Ruth Murray, Harriet Carter, Isha Pareek, Oliver Nicholls, Kieran Wetherwick, and Cerys Griffiths.

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