The SDLP: The Struggle for Agreement in Northern Ireland, 1970-2000
By Seán Farren
The leading nationalist party in Northern Ireland throughout the 'Troubles,' the SDLP, under the inspirational leadership of John Hume, sustained constitutional and democratic politics during that period and in no uncertain way shaped the Good Friday Agreement. Born out of the cauldron of the 1960s' civil rights movement, for much of the 'Troubles,' the SDLP had to contend with unionist intransigence, British obduracy, and, above all, Provisional IRA and loyalist paramilitary violence which threatened all-out civil war. In response, the party maintained a firm commitment to non-violence and to an inclusive democratic dialogue at the center of which would be the principle of consent to constitutional change, as the only viable means of reaching an agreement. This book charts the story of this commitment and the party's role in achieving that dialogue in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 through to the early years of the Agreement's implementation.
Publication Date: 10/13/2010