Former SDLP security spokesperson Micheal Canavan said his party’s criticisms of the activities of the UDR paved the way for the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
Mr Canavan made the comment after documents recently uncovered by the Pat Finucane Centre highlighted the SDLP man’s concerns about the controversial British army regiment.
“For many years I documented the growing links between the UDR and loyalist paramilitaries. All of this became relevant in 1980 when the incoming Secretary of State, Humphrey Atkins, asked for party papers and statements for transmission to the British cabinet,” he said.
Mr Canavan also said his papers called for the British and Irish government’s to work together. “Before the year was out the British government announced that it was working with the Irish government to set up the Anglo Irish Intergovernmental Conference to look at co-operation. In 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed,” Mr Canavan said.