Albert Reynolds

Albert Reynolds, born in 1932, prime minister of Ireland (1992-1994). Reynolds is best known for his work on the Downing Street Declaration of 1993, which established a framework for negotiations to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Albert Reynolds was born in Rooskey

Albert Reynolds was born in Rooskey, county Roscommon. He attended Summerhill College in county Sligo, and later qualified as an accountant by correspondence course. Before entering politics, he was a successful businessman with a chain of dance halls and a highly profitable pet-food company.

Reynolds was first elected to the Dil

Reynolds was first elected to the Dil ireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament, in 1977, as a member of the Fianna Fil party. He established close ties with Charles Haughey, who became prime minister in 1979, and Reynolds held a number of cabinet posts in Haughey`s governments. Reynolds was minister for industry and commerce from 1987 to 1988, and minister of finance from 1988 to 1992.

Reynolds became leader of Fianna Fil

Reynolds became leader of Fianna Fil and prime minister in January 1992, when Haughey was forced to resign. He inherited Haughey`s coalition government between Fianna Fil and the Progressive Democratic Party. The coalition quickly collapsed, however, and Reynolds lost a no-confidence vote in November 1992. He promptly called a general election, but was unable achieve a clear victory. He was forced into another coalition, this time with the Labour Party. The coalition remained viable for a time, but in November 1994 it collapsed, and Reynolds resigned the premiership and the leadership of Fianna Fil.

Reynolds was a strong supporter of the


Reynolds was a strong supporter of the European Community (now the European Union). One of his first actions as prime minister was to support the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, which established strong economic ties between the member countries. The treaty was ratified by the Irish electorate in June 1992. However, Reynolds`s most important achievement in office was his work to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland between nationalists who wanted to become part of Ireland, and loyalists who wished to remain part of the United Kingdom. In December 1993, after protracted negotiations with British prime minister John Major, the two governments reached an agreement on a joint peace initiative for Northern Ireland, the Downing Street Declaration. The declaration led, in part, to a cease-fire in 1994 by both the nationalist Irish Republican Army (IRA) and loyalist paramilitary groups. The framework for negotiations established by the Downing Street Declaration enabled the peace process in Northern Ireland to continue, despite the IRA`s resumption of violence in February 1996.

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