The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)–Sinn Féin talks of 1988 wholly contradicted the intended outcome of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, and were prefaced by an exchange of letters by John Hume and Gerry Adams. Hume focused upon the means and the motives of the republican movement, and also offered an alternative explanation of the Northern Ireland problem, as well as a political approach towards its resolution. Adams's letter to him was much shorter, but included a position paper outlining his party's understanding of the conflict and the means to its resolution. Hume and the SDLP faced enormous criticism for talking to Sinn Féin. Pan-nationalism was about providing republicans with a credible alternative to the armed struggle. Hume turned to London, hoping that the British government would offer validation of the arguments he had presented to Sinn Féin.
Keywords: SDLP; Sinn Féin; Anglo-Irish Agreement; John Hume; Gerry Adams; Northern Ireland; Pan-nationalism; London; British government
Chapter. 7143 words.
Subjects: European Union
Full text: subscription required