Government meeting with Adams after ceasefire showed ‘indecent haste’

Government meeting with Adams after ceasefire showed ‘indecent haste’
Gerry Adams, Albert Reynolds, and John Hume meet in August 1994, after the IRA ceasefire. Picture: PA

By Michael McHugh

The Government’s decision to meet Gerry Adams after the IRA ceasefire showed “indecent haste”, British government officials have said.

Former taoiseach Albert Reynolds shook hands with the Sinn Féin president and SDLP leader John Hume after a meeting in Dublin a week after republicans laid down arms in August 1994.

Confidential briefings from the Northern Ireland Office have been released by the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.

The official records said that a meeting between Mr Reynolds, Mr Adams, and Mr Hume following the ceasefire was considered “to reflect indecent haste, although clearly designed to tie Adams into a process from which he personally would not be able to escape, no matter what the republican movement did”.

The IRA declared a ceasefire in August 1994, followed by the main loyalist paramilitaries in October that year. It led to the beginning of public contact between the Irish and British governments and Sinn Féin.

Exploratory talks between the British government and Sinn Féin began before Christmas that year. In 1995, the republican party was to receive further international recognition from US president Bill Clinton when he gave Mr Adams authority to make a fundraising tour.

In February 1995, the Irish and British governments signed a Frameworks document on the Northern Ireland peace process.

It set out guiding principles including: self-determination; consent of the governed; “that agreement must be pursued and established by exclusively democratic, peaceful means, without resort to violence or coercion” and “that any new political arrangements must be based on full respect for and protection and expression of, the rights and identities of both traditions in Ireland”.

The Northern Ireland Office files said Frameworks had a “generally favourable” response from nationalist parties, a “bitterly antagonistic” reaction from mainstream unionism and the Alliance Party, while the churches, business community and loyalist parties adopted positions of “less- than-outright rejection”.

Rumours of an Ulster Unionist Party leadership challenge surfaced but there was uncertainty over the direction the party might take.

The British government’s assessment of the Democratic Unionists said: “Apocalyptic analysis of the Frameworks was a balance between outrage at the unacceptability of the proposals and triumph at the extent to which their predictions of constitutional disaster had been proved right.”

The SDLP maintained a relatively low profile.

More on this topic

Sinn Féin’s €1.7m donor buried in West BelfastSinn Féin’s €1.7m donor buried in West Belfast

Sinn Féin leader praises donor who gave party €1.7m as ‘rebel with a cause’Sinn Féin leader praises donor who gave party €1.7m as ‘rebel with a cause’

Mary Lou McDonald: We must 'ensure Brexit isn't used as a pretext to deliver a hard budget'Mary Lou McDonald: We must 'ensure Brexit isn't used as a pretext to deliver a hard budget'

Sinn Féin deputy leader insists ‘no bad blood’ with colleague vying for jobSinn Féin deputy leader insists ‘no bad blood’ with colleague vying for job


More in this Section

Homecoming date for victorious Dublin footballers announced Homecoming date for victorious Dublin footballers announced

Gardaí in Cork renew appeal for witnesses to serious assault on Patrick StGardaí in Cork renew appeal for witnesses to serious assault on Patrick St

8 minutes away from gas supply being ignited: 19 families homeless after Dublin flats fire8 minutes away from gas supply being ignited: 19 families homeless after Dublin flats fire

Man killed in early-morning Kerry collisionMan killed in early-morning Kerry collision


Lifestyle

I’m giggling but also it is tinged with tension. I peep out from behind the large sycamore. They are three trees away.Opening Lines: I’m just a bearded wheezing giggly man on the ground

I did my Leaving Cert in June and have just started college this week, so my school experience is extremely fresh in my memory. I went to Davis College in Mallow and it was a fantastic experience. I was the loud obnoxious child at the back of the classroom from day one. I had to (and still do, by the way) have an opinion on everything.Stand up and be counted : The Young Offender's Demi Isaac Oviawe on college and school life

When I was in secondary school I started working part-time as a waitress and I suppose I caught the hospitality bug back then.You've been served: General manager at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Caitriona O’Keeffe

That an American study has found straight women prefer dad bods (“an untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one that is considered attractive”) to six packs and hard shiny abs comes as no great surprise.Outside the Box: Tone down guys, us girls don’t mind moobs

More From The Irish Examiner