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NAI Records on CAIN
Press release - 29 June 2017


Fascinating records on Anglo Irish relations now available online - Minister Humphreys

Minister Humphreys welcomes continuation of NAI - CAIN partnership

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has confirmed that previously secret records on Anglo-Irish relations dating from 1975-1980 are now available online. Just over 920 documents have been added to the Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN) website as part of an ongoing partnership involving Ulster University and the National Archives, Ireland (NAI).

photo at launch event
Photo L to R: John McDonough, Director of the National Archives;
Heather Humphreys TD
, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs;
and Dr Brendan Lynn, CAIN Deputy Director, Ulster University.

The newly released material charts, amongst other things, the fallout from 1974 Ulster Workers’ Council Strike; the 1980 Republican Hunger Strike; as well as developments in Anglo-Irish relations culminating with the Haughey - Thatcher Summit in December 1980. The items selected have been drawn from material which has been released under the 30 year rule, but until now has not been available online.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“These documents, which are held in the National Archives, have now been digitised so they can be made available online. They provide a fascinating insight into the official response to the unfolding events in Northern Ireland in the 1970s at a time of great political turmoil.

“This latest set of documents builds on a selection of records which were made available by CAIN and NAI back in October 2012, with a further selection of documents in November 2013. It is anticipated that this latest batch of records will offer a valuable online resource for researchers looking for information on the conflict and politics of Northern Ireland from 1965 to 1980.

“CAIN and the National Archives are to be congratulated for engaging in this ongoing work, with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Reconciliation Fund, to bring to a wider audience this digital resource which it is hoped will contribute to a greater understanding of the conflict in Northern Ireland.”

Dr Brendan Lynn, Ulster University’s CAIN Deputy Director, stated:

“Ulster University and CAIN are very pleased to have been able to continue our cooperation with NAI and to update the existing section with material covering developments up until 1980. It has also allowed us to pursue one of its long-term objectives of working with individuals, groups or organisations with relevant material to make digital versions of their materials more accessible to a wider audience.

“The information itself is easily available and free of charge. We believe it will be of great use to students, researchers, teachers and lecturers or to anyone with an interest in the political and social history of Northern Ireland.

“Finally I would also like to record my thanks to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its Reconciliation Fund for providing the support to allow CAIN to maintain its partnership with the NAI.”

John McDonough, Director of the National Archives added:

“As the official repository for the archives of the modern Irish State, the National Archives holds documents of immense significance relating to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

“I am pleased that the National Archives has been able to continue in its joint efforts with Dr Brendan Lynn of CAIN, supported by the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to bring selected documents relating to the conflict in Northern Ireland that our institution holds to as wide an audience as possible.

“Our continued support for the work of Dr Lynn and CAIN is a reflection of the importance we attach to promoting the use by the public of online digitized archival sources as a means of fostering an understanding of our past.”


Note to Editors

The new online archive can be accessed at: http://cain.ulster.ac.uk/nai/.

The CAIN website provides an extensive range of information and source material on the conflict and politics of Northern Ireland from 1968 to the present day. The site is used by a worldwide audience and has received over 21 million visits.

CAIN is based at Ulster University, within INCORE and the School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy:
(https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/social-sciences/schools/criminology-politics-and-social-policy ).

CAIN is also a component part of ARK (Access Research Knowledge; http://www.ark.ac.uk/) a resource providing access to social and political material on Northern Ireland that informs social and political debate in the region and raises the profile of social science research. ARK is based within the Ulster University and Queen’s University, Belfast.

The National Archives, Ireland occupies a key position in the cultural and intellectual life of the nation, holding the records of the modern Irish State which document its historical evolution and the creation of its national identity. In keeping with its Mission Statement, the National Archives, Ireland secures the preservation of records relating to Ireland which warrant preservation as archives and ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for public access to archives.


last update 29 June 2017


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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