Government papers: SDLP man Currie said Irish unity was not imminent in 1984

Austin Currie (centre)

Austin Currie (centre)

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A note of a May 1984 meeting between AJ Merifield and the SDLP’s Austin Currie said that Mr Currie had told him “he was sure that those who thought Irish unity was possible at this stage were living in the clouds”.

In a July 1984 meeting between the SDLP’s Sean Farren and RS Reeve in the Political Affairs Division Mr Farren said that the party had been given confidence by John Hume’s re-election as MEP.

Turning to Sinn Fein, the note said: “Farren thought that the Sinn Fein leadership (in particular Gerry Adams) was becoming more attracted to ‘the political path’. Although he agreed that HMG could not have any dealings with the party, whilst they still supported the IRA campaign, he personally was attracted to encouraging Sinn Fein into the political process.”