This cabinet outlines important events during the Troubles period that occurred in the 1980s; the 1981 hunger strikes and the 1985 Anglo-Irish agreement. It features posters or propaganda, depending on your point of view, relating to both events.

The Troubles was a period of civil strike between the late 1960s to the late 1990s in which over 3,000 people died. It was a politico-military dispute between two communities, a largely Catholic, Irish and nationalist one with many members wanting to be part of a united Republic of Ireland and the other a British, Protestant and unionist one that wanted to maintain British government in Northern Ireland.

The 1980s was a particularly grim period where polarisation between both communities and any hope of a peaceful resolution appeared very distant.

The 1981 hunger strikes were protests by republican prisoners to gain recognition as ‘political prisoners. During the course of the protest, ten men died. Many members of the nationalist community protested in support of the hunger strikers. The support was so strong that one hunger striker, Bobby Sands was elected to the Westminster Parliament as an MP in a by-election in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone after the death of the incumbent Frank Maguire.

The 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement was a treaty between the UK and Republic of Ireland governments to help and end the conflict by giving the Irish government an advisory role in the affairs in Northern Ireland and confirming no constitutional change would happen without the democratic consent of the people of Northern Ireland. The Agreement provoked massive popular demonstrations and protest from the unionist in reaction to the accord.