State papers are released today into the National Archives under the 30-year rule
used wrong name for Republic
Queen used the wrong name for the Republic of Ireland when writing to
President Patrick Hillery.
In extravagantly worded letters to President Hillery in 1983, the British royal marked the changing of the ambassadorial guard in Dublin.
the note personally signed by the Queen, the royal confirmed the
departure of Sir Leonard Clifford William Figg and in a follow-up
note his replacement is confirmed as Alan Clowes-Goodison.
Pat O'Sullivan, government secretariat in 1983 and adviser to Garrett
FitzGerald on matters relating to the President, spotted a misnomer
and asked for views of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
the courtly language and tone of the diplomatic letters to President
Hillery, the Queen had used "Irish Republic" rather than
Republic of Ireland.
threat' tactic used on Bush
Government tried to get George Bush more involved in tackling the
Troubles by warning that the USSR would exploit growing IRA support.
Ahead of a one day visit to Dublin in 1983,
officials said the Taoiseach should use the Soviet threat as a way of
getting support from the then US Vice-President.
advice was offered amid planning for the Fourth of July arrival but
White House aides were less preoccupied with the Northern Ireland
question and more on arrangements for a "spontaneous
meet-the-people" stop for Mr Bush in a pub.
seeing an opportunity to get Washington on board with the political
situation, advisors to Garrett FitzGerald and Minister for Foreign
Affairs Peter Barry urged them to use the growing terror threat and
closeted support for the Provos to drum up interest.
over 1983 Mugabe Banquet
A State banquet for Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe was less than stately after Garret FitzGerald took too long to hand-pick the wine and 30 unaccounted-for guests turned up.
for the September 1983 visit and a lavish dinner in Dublin Castle had
been going for weeks but the Taoiseach of the day annoyed his civil
servants by leaving a few key decisions to the last minute.
only was the table plan for the Dublin Castle dinner incomplete but
Mr FitzGerald spent too much time consulting with his wife Joan on
the wine list.
the fallout, other
blunders were spotted - foreign affairs had been sending letters for
the SDLP's John Hume, including an invite to lunch with then US
Vice-President George Bush, to the wrong John Hume.
thought Priest wrote Gerry Adams' speeches
nationalist MP Seamus Mallon thought Gerry Adams's speeches in the
early 1980s were being written by a priest.
a particularly vicious phase of the troubles, the SDLP figure claimed
the Sinn Fein president's statements were well put together but not
penned by him.
Mr Mallon said
he thought a respected Belfast priest, Fr Des Wilson, was the brains
behind the republican leader's speeches.
State papers show the unsubstantiated claim was carried back to the
Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin in late 1983 following one of
its fact-finding missions in the north.
tension over Falklands
Margaret Thatcher threatened to scrap a visit to Ireland because it was being "unfriendly" about the Falklands War.
then Prime Minister was also in no mood to meet with Taoiseach
Charles Haughey because of Ireland's plans to back calls for a
ceasefire in the conflict off Argentina.
Britain pressurised Ireland during one of the most
critical stages of the war to abstain from a planned United Nations
resolution calling for an end to military action.
believed every vote was crucial and Ireland had let it be known it
was in favour of a ceasefire and would likely vote in favour of it.
banned Soviet airlines
Ireland agreed to ban Soviet airlines from the tarmac at Shannon just 10 days before the Cold War narrowly avoided nuclear catastrophe.
US president Ronald
Reagan sent a direct request for Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald to stop
Aeroflot stopovers after a civilian airliner was blown out of the
blanket ban was ordered after the Soviets shot down Korean Air Lines
Flight 007 on September 1, 1983 near Sakhalin island in the Sea of
Japan after it strayed into Russian air space.
269 passengers and crew, including US congressman Larry McDonald,
'was called schizophrenic'
Paisley was described as a schizophrenic ready to adopt the IRA's
Brits Out mantra if he did not get his way on Northern Ireland
to a report marked secret and released under the 30-year rule,
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Prior believed the
Democratic Unionists were less prone to splits and division because
of the leader's domination.
Prior was reportedly angered after being targeted by DUP figures in a
Derry city hotel.
hardline views on Mr Paisley were recorded in Department of Foreign
Affairs files following a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs
Peter Barry at Hillsborough on October 19 1983.
warned on Ewart-Biggs Trust
Charlie Haughey was warned about potential embarrassment from sponsoring a trust set up in memory of a British ambassador blown up the IRA.
widower of Christopher Ewart-Biggs wanted the Taoiseach to take up
where Jack Lynch had left off and put his name to a memorial fund in
some of Mr Haughey advisers cautioned that he could end up sponsoring
a lecture given by the likes of pro-unionist politician Conor Cruise
Ewart-Biggs was killed on July 21 1976 when a landmine blew up under
his car outside his home in Sandyford just 12 days after he took up
Politicians shot down plans to honour Nelson Mandela with the freedom of Dublin just five years before he was eventually awarded the accolade, classified files have revealed.
the late South African leader was conferred a Freeman of Dublin in
1988 - the first capital city in the world to do so - councillors
dismissed the idea during behind-the-scenes meetings in 1983.
Then Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald ordered advice from the Department
of Foreign Affairs after he became aware of the proposal.
while government advisers suggested any diplomatic risk in conferring
the honour would be outweighed by a positive international reaction,
political parties on Dublin City Council could not agree.
'tried to get round US ban'
Ian Paisley tried to get around being barred from the US by asking the United Nations Secretary General for an interview.
The former Northern Ireland First Minister had a visa revoked three times in 1981 and 1982 as he attempted to get into America and put the Unionist version of the Troubles across.
the time, the US State Department said the decision to stop Mr
Paisley at the border was based on his "near advocacy of
according to documents released under the 30-year rule by the
Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, diplomats were told
privately it was more about him personally than his policies.
warders 'ignored' management
Out-of-control warders took over the running of the Maze Prison after the IRA escape in 1983.
documents show Irish officials warned the British government to take
back control of the notorious jail before Republican paramilitaries
starting killing "easy target" prison officers.
then Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Barry was so worried about events
inside the Maze, he despatched an underling to the British Embassy to
make his concerns known.
In that meeting, the official describes the situation as "potentially explosive".