Andrew Lynch: A revealing account from behind the scenes of the Anglo-Irish Agreement

Margaret Thatcher’s senior diplomat David Goodall took meticulous notes of his encounters with Garrett FitzGerald and others during the fraught negotiations leading up to the 1985 accord between Britain and Ireland

Garret Fitzgerald and Margaret Thatcher shake hands after signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement at Hillsborough in 1985. Also pictured are (from left) Peter Barry, Dick Spring, and British ministers Geoffrey Howe and Tom King. Picture: PA


The Making of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985

By David Goodall (edited by Frank Sheridan)

National University of Ireland, €20

Garret FitzGerald did not often use racy language. Negotiating the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement with Margaret Thatcher, however, was enough to make even the genteel Fine Gael taoiseach occasionally lose his rag.

“I know that British ministers think their word is their bond,” he once exclaimed, according to this memoir by the senior Whitehall civil ...