- The first tentative contacts between the British and the Irish took place in 1982. David Goodall, a senior British diplomat attached to the Cabinet Office, from a Catholic family with connections to Ireland, began talking to Michael Lillis, a senior Irish diplomat, ferociously clever and with staunch republican antecedents. The NIO disapproved of the whole exerecise and, as a result, was largely kept out of the loop. The negotiations were conducted in great secrecy with Goodall joined by the Cabinet Secretary Robert Armstrong on the British side and Lillis joined by another senior Irish diplomat, Sean Donlon, along with Dermot Nally, the Irish Cabinet Secretary.
- ↑ Great Hatred, Little Room, Making Peace in Northern Ireland by Jonathan Powell,The Bodley Head, 2008, p59.