Unionists ‘would go to jail’ over the hated Anglo-Irish deal

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The fall-out from the Anglo-Irish Agreement saw no sign of coming to an end, as tensions mounted in February 1986.

The Democratic Unionist Party representatives on Larne Borough Council said they were “ready to go to jail than submit to Dublin rule”, according to their chief Ald Jack McKee.

Mr McKee said the council had agreed not to meet until after 15 February.

This was the deadline set by the Government for setting a district rate.

“We will in no way cooperate with Northern Ireland officials as cooperation would mean working for our own destruction as long as Dublin has an input into our affairs.”

Deputy Mayor, Mrs Rosalie Armstrong, said she would be prepared to go to jail over the issue.

The Ulster Unionist representative said: “I am sure other members of my party would share my opinion and stick to their guns and refuse to strike a rate.”

Alliance Party councillor, Ald Liam Kelly launched a last-minute appeal to the unionist representatives, asking them to change their minds.

He revealed that he had written to the mayor urging a meeting to strike a rate “to protect their own interests”.