INTRODUCTION: Britain's Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, met her Irish counterpart Dr.
SV Mrs Thatcher and Mrs Fitzgerald enter Number 10 and meet James Prior. (MUTE)
SV Thatcher speaking.
SV EXTERIOR Reverend Ian Paisley walking up to Number 10, turning away from door and walking away. (2 SHOTS)
SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT): THATCHER: (SEQ 2): "Now the atmosphere of the meeting, warm and friendly, practical and constructive, I would also say workmanlike as you will see from the communique. It tries to mark steady progress forward and I think I might sum it up this way, I think both Jim Prior and I would agree. We really looked forward to the time when these meetings are not so remarked upon as they are at present. We want them to be really more in the normal course of our work and it was with that in mind that we are setting up the Anglo-Irish Inter-governmental Council."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Britain's Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, met her Irish counterpart Dr. Garret Fitzgerald on Friday (6 November) to discuss relations damaged by the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. The two leaders decided to establish a joint council to seek ways of resolving the problems of the troubled province. The London summit also resulted in plans to improve cross-border co-operation in fighting the activities of the irish Republican Army (IRA).
SYNOPSIS: Mrs Thatcher and the Irish Prime Minister met at Number 10 Downing street, the British leader's official residence. It was their first meeting since Dr. Fitzgerald's election in June. The summit followed the ending of the imprisoned Irish guerrillas' hunger strikes in Belfast and a resumption of IRA bombings in mainland Britain. The talks, attended by British Northern Ireland Secretary James Prior, led to the setting up of the inter-governmental council as Mrs Thatcher explained.
This new institution of co-operation between London and Dublin was greeted with suspicion by northern Ireland's Protestant majority. One of its leaders, the Reverend Ian Paisley, delivered a protest note to Mrs Thatcher. He described the Council as a sell-out by Britain aimed at eventually uniting the two parts of Ireland. Mrs Thatcher insisted there was no threat to the Province's constitutional link with Britain.