Troublemaker or peacemaker? Margaret Thatcher and Northern Ireland

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Authors
Coates, Daniel
Issue Date
2016
Degree
BA (Hons) Arts
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
The aim of my thesis is to highlight the events in Northern Ireland before; during and after Margaret Thatcher’s Premiership and answer the question was Margaret Thatcher a peacemaker or a troublemaker in terms of Northern Ireland? Did she speed up or slow down the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. There will be an introduction to Thatcher before going into the first chapter. The first chapter will focus on Anglo – Irish relations before Thatcher’s premiership focusing on how the troubles came about leading right up to Thatcher’s election in 1979. The second chapter will look at some events in northern Ireland during her first term in office focusing on for example, the Hunger Strikes of 1980 and 1981, Bobby Sand’s death and what followed in terms of support for Sinn Féin, Ireland’s stance on the Falklands war and how Thatcher reacted to that, The third chapter will focus on the Brighton Bombing, the Anglo- Irish Summit and the Anglo – Irish Agreement. The final chapter will focus on The Unionist reaction to the Anglo – Irish Agreement and the situation in Northern Ireland towards the end of Thatcher’s premiership and mentioning the Peace Agreements in the 1990’s under John Major (Thatcher’s successor) and Tony Blair’s Labour government and did she influence these peace agreements? The conclusion will just be a summary of what was said in each chapter and talk about the Iron Lady’s overall legacy in Northern Ireland. Author keywords: Margaret Thatcher, Northern Ireland, The Troubles, hunger strikes, Irish government