Belfast Telegraph

Troubles records handed to archive

Official Irish government records have been handed over to a massive online archive on the Troubles.

The documents from the National Archives in Dublin, relating to the outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, have been added to the University of Ulster's Cain archive.

The database - an acronym for Conflict Archive on the Internet - charts the unrest in the North from 1968 right up to the present day Peace Process.

Files from Dublin - which have already been released to the public under the 30 year rule - have been put into digital format so they can be viewed free on the internet.

They are mostly from government departments and cast light on the reactions to the emerging crisis among leaders in the Irish Republic at the time to events including the 1970 Arms Crisis, Anglo-Irish Relations, the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement and the 1974 Ulster Workers' Council Strike.

Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan said the records - from 1970 to 1974 - would offer an insight into the government's thinking on the unfolding political turmoil.

"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," he said.

"It will be available to all: students of Irish history at all levels, as well as well as to the general public at large."

The records, along with the extensive range of other documents on the Cain website can be seen at cain.ulster.ac.uk

Dr Brendan Lynn, deputy director of Cain, said the information is easily available and free of charge.

"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," he said.

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