Belfast Telegraph

Former Moderator advised his children to leave Northern Ireland, archives show

A former leader of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland encouraged his children to move away from Northern Ireland because he believed Britain will eventually pull out, according to just released state papers.

Rev John Dunlop, a North Belfast minister known for his cross-community peace-building and who went on to become Moderator of the church, met an Irish government official at his home in December 1986.

Notes of the meeting, just released in the National Archives in Dublin, show Rev Dunlop "speculated that, in the longer term, the British Government would decide for financial reasons to withdraw from Northern Ireland".

"The (Anglo-Irish) Agreement already pointed in this direction.

"He believed that in that eventuality a lot of unionists would move to Britain.

"Already quite a few unionists (including himself) were advising their children to seek employment not in Northern Ireland but in Britain."

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From Belfast Telegraph