#dup89 NIO’s DUP conference report: “many of the speeches and sentiments expressed were depressingly predictable” #20yearrule

DUP ALL OUT FOR DEVOLUTION says NIO official in his report on the DUP’s 1989 conference. The DUP was seen to be relaunching itself as the main unionist. Analysis suggested the UUP were finding it difficult to maintain their position faced with the twin electoral threats of a resurgent DUP and Conservative growth.

Has our government yet learnt the lessons from the De Lorean debacle? #20yearrule

DE LOREAN DEBACLE – With an eye on the Renerable Heat Incentive scheme, are there lessons for Government today? You’ll need to set aside a few hours if you visit PRONI and request file CENT/3/103. A large reinforced cardboard box will be wheeled out on a trolley to your desk. Inside it you’ll find Kenneth Bloomfield’s personal papers relating to the ill-fated De Lorean affair which reveal a project with an over-optimistic start and a very depressing finish.

Sensitivities and sensibilities around Royal Visits in the 1980s #20yearrule

ROYAL VISITS to Northern Ireland in the early 1980s were subject to much head-scratching. The file of internal correspondence and briefings between 1982 and 1984 released this morning gives an insight into the government sensitivities and sensibilities. Should a senior Royal visit a particular military unit? Why would the Ordinance Survey NI only be a suitable visit for a male VIP? How neutral would the BBC be as a potential venue? Is a school speech day sufficiently important to warrant a visit?

Ní Chuilín stops (unexplained) HET blocking move on release of inquest documents to relatives

It’s hard to disagree with Brian when he says there is no real serious attempt to deal with the past. On the Republican side, the understanding is that that is not possible until everything is dealt with. But in the meantime some families have been trying to use the mechanisms of the state to try and get closer to the truth of what happened to their loved ones. As John noted here on Slugger, the re-opening of an inquest into …

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