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John Hume and the Revision of Irish Nationalism$
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P. J. McLoughlin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079566

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079566.001.0001

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The totality of relationships

The totality of relationships

(p.115) 7 The totality of relationships
John Hume and the Revision of Irish Nationalism

P. J. McLoughlin

Manchester University Press

It was the growth of Sinn Féin that provided the initial rationale for the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) of 1985 and the precursory New Ireland Forum (NIF) of 1983–84, the latter of which finds its parentage in the thinking of both John Hume and Garret FitzGerald. Despite FitzGerald's intentions, the NIF was an essentially nationalist exercise that Hume saw as a way to prompt a change in British policy on Northern Ireland. It brought together a number of strategic and ideological threads that Hume and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) had been working on for some years. The AIA represented a compromise between the respective positions of FitzGerald and Margaret Thatcher. The United States played a significant role in nudging the British government towards the AIA. The AIA led to something quite different from talks between the SDLP and unionists.

Keywords:   Anglo-Irish Agreement, New Ireland Forum, John Hume, Garret FitzGerald, Northern Ireland, British policy, SDLP, Margaret Thatcher, British government

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