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The Sunningdale Agreement

28th May – 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

£5.00 – £6.50


The Sunningdale Agreement of December 1973 led to the establishment of Northern Ireland’s first power-sharing executive. By 28 May 1974, the executive, led by Prime Minister Brian Faulkner, and the Agreement had collapsed, brought down by growing unionist opposition that culminated in the General Strike organised by the Ulster Workers’ Council.

On the 50th anniversary of its collapse, The Linen Hall reflects on the failure of the Sunningdale Agreement, a pivotal moment in Northern Ireland’s history. Journalist and broadcaster Mark Simpson will be in conversation with Dermot Nesbitt, Brian Faulkner’s election agent and a key member of the Ulster Unionist Party’s negotiation team during the Stormont talks that paved the way for the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, and Senator Emer Currie, Seanad Spokesperson for Northern Ireland, Special Education, and Inclusion, and daughter of Austin Currie, a minister in the executive during that time.

Tuesday 28 May, 1 pm | £5.00 – £6.50

About Dermot Nesbitt

Dermot Nesbitt is a first class Honours graduate in Economics from Queen’s University Belfast and had been a Senior Lecturer in Finance at Queens and also head of the Department of Accounting and Finance.

He was a District Councillor, a member of the South Eastern Education and Library Board and its Chairman. He was also Chairman of the Board of Governors of Stranmillis University College, served on the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights, was a Board member of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and a member of the Equality Commission.

In the 1970s, he was the late Brian Faulkner’s election agent and supported the initial power-sharing Executive in 1974. Dermot was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party’s negotiation team at the Stormont talks that led to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. He subsequently held Ministerial Office in the Northern Ireland Executive and has written widely concerning political issues.

About Senator Emer Currie

Senator Emer Currie was appointed to the Seanad by the Taoiseach in 2020 and is Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson for Northern Ireland, Special Education and Inclusion. She was elected to Fingal County Council for her home ward of Castleknock in 2019. Before politics Emer worked in advertising and marketing for 15 years for some of Irelands biggest brands. She is originally from Tyrone and serves on the Good Friday Agreement Committee, is Chair of the Sovereign Affairs Committee of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, as well as Co-Chair of the All Party Work Equal Oireachtas Committee and a member of the working group of the Irish Women’s Parliamentary Caucus.



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General Admission
£ 6.50
£ 5.00


28th May
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
£5.00 – £6.50
Event Category:
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The Linen Hall
+44 (0)28 9032 1707
View Organiser Website


Linen Hall Library
17 Donegall Square North
Belfast, BT1 5GB United Kingdom
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Booking is essential for all events including free events. All event tickets are non-refundable. Please view our Customer Service Policy.