Downing Street Declaration

Downing Street Declaration

The Downing Street Declaration was a joint declaration issued on 15 December 1993 by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Major, and the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Albert Reynolds at the British Prime Minister office in 10 Downing Street. It affirmed both the right of the people of Ireland to self-determination, and that Northern Ireland would be transferred to the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom if and only if a majority of its population was in favour of such a move. It included, as part of the prospective of the so called Irish dimension, the principle that the people of the island of Ireland, North and South had the exclusive right to solve the issues between North and South by mutual consent.[1][2] The latter statement, which later would become one of the points of the Good Friday Agreement,[3] was key to produce a positive change of attitude by the republicans towards a negotiated settlement. The joint declaration also pledged the governments to seek a peaceful constitutional settlement, and promised that parties linked with paramilitaries (such as Sinn Féin) could take part in the talks, so long as they abandoned violence.[4]

The declaration, after a meeting between Gerry Adams and American congressman Bruce Morrison, which was followed by a joint statement issued by Adams and John Hume, was considered sufficient by the Provisional Irish Republican Army to announce a ceasefire on 31 August 1994[5] which was then followed on 13 October by an announcement of a ceasefire from the Combined Loyalist Military Command.[6]


  1. ^ Peatling, Gary (2004). The failure of the Northern Ireland peace process. Irish Academic Press, p. 58. ISBN 0716533367
  2. ^ Cox, Michael, Guelke, Adrian and Stephen, Fiona (2006). A farewell to arms?: beyond the Good Friday Agreement. Manchester University Press, p. 486. ISBN 0719071151
  3. ^ Clark, Desmond and Jones, Charles (1999). The rights of nations: nations and nationalism in a changing world. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 168. ISBN 0312225954
  4. ^ Cox & Guelke, pp. 487-488
  5. ^ Rowan, Brian (1995). Behind the lines: the story of the IRA and Loyalist ceasefires . Blackstaff Press, Chapter 8. ISBN 0856405647
  6. ^ CAIN- Chronology of the Conflict 1994

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