"Dublin is Just a Sunningdale Away?" : The SDLP, the Irish Government and the Sunningdale Agreement

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Title: "Dublin is Just a Sunningdale Away?" : The SDLP, the Irish Government and the Sunningdale Agreement
Authors: McLoughlin, P. J.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2342
Date: 2007
Abstract: This paper examines the roles played by the Irish government and more particularly Northern Ireland's Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in both the making and the breakdown of the 1973 Sunningdale agreement. It asks whether the combined efforts of the SDLP and the Irish government pushed unionist negotiators too far at Sunningdale, producing a settlement which was predetermined towards Irish reunification, and so justified loyalist claims that 'Dublin is just a Sunningdale Away'. The paper draws on recently released archival material to show how the SDLP was, to a significant degree, able to dictate Dublin's policy on Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, suggesting that this led to a uniform and highly ambitious agenda on the part of nationalist participants at the Sunningdale conference. However, it also demonstrates that this agenda was not realised, and that the deal made at Sunningdale was not, as many scholars have suggested, an unqualified success for the SDLP. Nonetheless, the paper maintains that the dynamic rhetoric and perceived momentum of Irish nationalism-orchestrated largely by the SDLP-served to distort that which was actually agreed, and in this undermined the prospects of broad unionist support for Sunningdale.
Funding Details: Other funder
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
Copyright (published version): The author, 2007
Keywords: Sunningdale;SDLP;Irish Government
Subject LCSH: Social Democratic and Labour Party (Northern Ireland)--Influence
Northern Ireland--Politics and government--1969-1994
Ireland--Relations--Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland--Relations--Ireland
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: Paper presented at the conference “Assessing the Sunningdale Agreement”, Institute for British-Irish Studies, University College, Dublin, 15 June 2006
Appears in Collections:Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS) Working Papers and Policy Papers

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