Northern Ireland documents

This collection of Northern Ireland documents contains primary sources relating to the Troubles from 1969. It has been compiled by Alpha History authors. New sources will be added to this page over time. If you would like to suggest or contribute a document for inclusion here, please contact Alpha History

The birth of Northern Ireland

Extracts from the Penal Laws (1695-1745)
The Ulster Covenant (September 1912)
The Easter Rising Proclamation (April 1916)
A proclamation forming the Parliament of Northern Ireland (May 1921)
W. B. Yeats poem: “Easter, 1916” (1921)
King George V opens the Northern Ireland parliament (June 1921)
The Anglo-Irish Treaty (December 1921)
The Northern Ireland Special Powers Act (April 1922)
John Kelleher on the issue of Irish unification (1954)
An Irish Republican Party handbook on guerrilla warfare (1956)

From civil rights to riots

BBC News: Police break up NICRA civil rights march in Derry (October 1968)
Taoiseach Jack Lynch on the causes of the unrest in Derry (October 1968)
Terence O’Neill: “Ulster stands at the crossroads” (December 1968)
Bernadette Devlin on the Loyalist ambush at Burntollet (January 1969)
Terence O’Neill calls for an end to marches and violence (January 1969)
A joint communique on reforms in Northern Ireland (March 1969)
Bernadette Devlin’s maiden speech in the House of Commons (April 1969)
BBC News: Police use tear gas in Bogside (August 1969)
A joint British-Northern Ireland communique on security measures (August 1969)
Irish taoiseach Jack Lynch condemns violence in Northern Ireland (August 1969)
BBC News: British troops deployed in Northern Ireland (August 1969)
Britain’s Home Secretary promises reforms in Northern Ireland (August 1969)
Cameron Report on causes of disorder in Northern Ireland (September 1969)
Hunt Report on police forces in Northern Ireland (October 1969)

British intervention

Patrick McClean recalls the brutality of internment (August 1971)
Ted Kennedy: “Ulster is becoming Britain’s Vietnam” (October 1971)
The UVF calls for the formation of volunteer platoons (1971)
The Times: NICRA leads an anti-internment march in Belfast (January 1972)
BBC News: Soldiers open fire on protestors in Derry, killing 13 (January 1972)
A French photographer recalls the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’ (January 1972)
Alana Burke recalls the events of Bloody Sunday (January 1972)
The Guardian: post-Bloody Sunday editorial (January 1972)
James Chichester-Clark responds to the imposition of Direct Rule (March 1972)
The Widgery Report on the ‘Bloody Sunday’ shootings (April 1972)
Thomas Kinsella’s “Butcher’s Dozen”: a poem about Bloody Sunday (1972)
NICRA volunteer Charlie Morrison reflects on the events of Bloody Sunday (1972)
NICRA responds to the imposition of Direct Rule (1972)
BBC News: Official IRA announces a ceasefire (May 1972)
The British government and IRA hold secret meetings (July 1972)
The British Army issues new instructions on opening fire without warning (March 1973)
A letter to The Times suggests paying Catholics to relocate to Ireland (April 1974)

The Long War

A report on the first meeting of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (1975)
Merlyn Rees withdraws Special Category Status for prisoners (November 1975)
The Provisional IRA responds to the withdrawal of SCS (March 1976)
Merlyn Rees condemns violence triggered by SCS (March 1976)
The IRA Green Book: security and commitment (1977)
The IRA Green Book: the enemy (1977)
The IRA Green Book: guerrilla strategy (1977)
The Provisional IRA’s ‘Staff Report’ on reorganisation and new strategy (December 1977)
Archbishop Ó Fiaich on the conditions in Maze’s H-Block (August 1978)
Ulster’s Children: Waiting for the Prince of Peace (December 1980)
Bobby Sands recalls a forced body search in HM Prison Maze (1981)
NORAID pamphlet calling for donations from Americans (1982)
An extract from Cal (1983)
Ian Paisley on self determination and Unionist resolve (November 1994)

Peace and power-sharing

“The Future of Northern Ireland” green paper (October 1972)
“Northern Ireland Constitutional Proposals” white paper (March 1973)
The Sunningdale Agreement (December 1973)
Irish taoiseach Liam Cosgrave on the Sunningdale Agreement (March 1974)
The Anglo-Irish Agreement (November 1985)
Ian Paisley: “Never! Never! Never!” (November 1985)
Gordon Wilson on the loss of his daughter and forgiveness (1987)
Ian Paisley on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher (November 1990)
Gerry Adams and John Hume on peace in Northern Ireland (April 1993)
The Downing Street Declaration (December 1993)
The IRA’s TUAS memo on nationalist strategy during the peace process (1994)
The Provisional IRA declares an indefinite ceasefire (August 1994)
Loyalist paramilitary groups declare a ceasefire (October 1994)

The Good Friday Agreement

The Anglo-Irish Framework for peace negotiations (February 1995)
The Mitchell Principles for Northern Ireland peace negotiations (January 1996)
Tony Blair announces a new inquiry into Bloody Sunday 1972 (January 1998)
The Good Friday Agreement: preamble (April 1998)
The Good Friday Agreement: constitutional issues (April 1998)
The Good Friday Agreement: arms decommissioning (April 1998)
The Good Friday Agreement: policing (April 1998)
The Good Friday Agreement: prisoner release (April 1998)
Tony Blair’s five promises to referendum voters in Northern Ireland (May 1998)
Gerry Adams on the role of Sinn Fein post-Good Friday (June 1998)
Tony Blair addresses the Irish parliament on the Good Friday Agreement (November 1998)

The fragile peace

A Protestant minister condemns sectarian violence in Portadown (July 1998)
The Irish National Liberation Army announces a ceasefire (August 1998)
General de Chastelain seeks information from parties on decommissioning (June 1999)
The Patten Commission’s recommendations for policing in Northern Ireland (September 1999)
Amendments to the Republic of Ireland Constitution (December 1999)
General de Chastelain’s report on the progress of decommissioning (January 2000)
Daily Express: Mob hurls stones outside Holy Cross school (September 2001)
Gerry Adams calls on the Provisional IRA to decommission its weapons (October 2001)
The Provisional IRA announces decommissioning of its weapons (October 2001)
The Real IRA on the Provisional IRA’s “final betrayal” (December 2001)
The Provisional IRA announces the end of its armed campaign (July 2005)
Gerry Adams on the future of Irish republicanism (April 2006)
Blair and Ahern’s Armagh Agreement on restoring the Northern Ireland Assembly (2006)
The St Andrews Agreement (October 2006)
A US State Department report on the status of the Real IRA (April 2008)
The INLA and IRSP announce an end to their armed campaign (October 2009)
British prime minister David Cameron apologises for Bloody Sunday (June 2010)
The IRA reaffirms its commitment to armed struggle (July 2012)
British government assessment of Northern Ireland paramilitary groups (2015)