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Tuesday, 9 December 2014


9 December 1973: The Sunningdale Agreement was signed at Sunningdale in Berkshire, England on this day. Agreement was reached between the Irish Government & the SDLP representing the nationalists and the British Government and the Ulster Unionist Party representing the Unionists with the Alliance Party taking more of a middle ground. It was agreed that a Power sharing Executive would be set up at Stormont. It was to include representatives from all the participant political parties that were elected to serve in the new parliament.


However the Conference also agreed that a 'Council of Ireland' would be set up that would enhance cross border co-operation. While there was initially a measured welcome for this settlement in many quarters it was greeted with deep suspicion especially by the more hardline loyalist elements within the North. Also the IRA - who were engaged in a full scale campaign against the Crown Forces - were not interested as they saw it as irrelevant and if anything an impediment to a United Ireland. The ill-fated Executive only lasted a few months before the Loyalist Ulster Workers Council brought it down in May 1974.