The Church Response to the N Ireland Conflict

Cardinal Ó Fiaich Conflict Archive

3 November 2023 marked the centenary of the birth of Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich. During the year the Library & Archive acquired more than 4,000 documents relating to his time as Archbishop of Armagh from 1977 until his death in 1990.

The material in question forms an important record of the Church’s response to the conflict in Northern Ireland and deals with many issues that were central to the Troubles.

Among the material that has been catalogued, are many letters from Republican and Loyalist prisoners in the Maze-Long Kesh prison. There is also a large body of correspondence with officials on both sides of the Irish Border and with the government in Westminster, including with the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and her minister in the Northern Ireland Office.

These documents have now been digitised and are available for research for the first time. Some items are available only on site at present as these may contain sensitive information about named individuals and may only be accessed at the discretion of the archivist.

The work to catalogue and digitise the collection has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Reconciliation Fund of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. Requests for digital copies of all other items in the collection should be made to the Library & Archive at

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