For the rest of the 1970s, the IRA`s campaign of terrorism and loyalist reactions continued. Between 1973 and 1980, 1,398 people were murdered in shootings, sniper attacks, bombs, landmines and booby traps. There have been many attempts to reach an agreement. A second IRA ceasefire collapsed in 1975 despite the efforts of various groups, such as the Peace People. As the army became smart towards the IRA, the terrorists were forced to be more and more secretive. Many of them went into hiding, while others joined political parties, particularly Sinn Fin. On 21 November, an agreement was reached on a voluntary coalition of pro-agreement parties (contrary to the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, which establishes the d`Hondt method for the election of ministers in proportion to the main parties in the assembly). Prominent members of the executive included former Unionist Prime Minister Brian Faulkner as executive director, SDLP chairman Gerry Fitt as deputy executive director, future Nobel laureate and SDLP leader John Hume as trade minister, and Alliance Party chairman Oliver Napier as legal secretary and head of the Law Reform Bureau. The other members of the executive were unionist Basil McIvor as Minister of Education, Unionist Herbert Kirk as Minister of Finance, Austin Currie, member of the SDLP as Minister of Housing, Unionist Leslie Morrell as Minister of Agriculture, Paddy Devlin, member of the SDLP, as Minister of Health and Social Services, trade unionist Roy Bradford as Environment Minister and Unionist John Baxter as Information Minister.  This new executive, composed of the above-mentioned members, took office and held its very first meeting on January 1, 1974.  The UUP was deeply divided: its Standing Committee voted by a majority of 132 votes to 105 to participate in the executive power. The Sunningdale agreement has set off an alarm bell in Northern Ireland, particularly in loyalist circles.
Many were outraged that Faulkner, the main Unionist negotiator in Sunningdale, had accepted the Council of Ireland but had not passed on any of their own demands (dublin`s official recognition of Northern Ireland, repression of IRA suspects in the Republic and new security measures). A concordan or power-sharing government seemed to be the best hope. This would make it possible to divide executive power between unionists and nationalists, reduce discrimination, promote political partnership and strengthen stability. In March 1974, pro-agreement trade unionists withdrew their support for the agreement, calling on the Republic of Ireland to first delete Articles 2 and 3 of its Constitution (these articles would only be revised after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement). It was agreed that a Council of Ireland would be formed to make the Republic of Ireland responsible for matters of common interest with the North. A glimmer of hope was provided by the Sunningdale Agreement, named after the English city where it was negotiated in 1973. This agreement led to the creation of a new Northern Ireland Assembly. British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Irish Prime Minister Liam Cosgrave and representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and the Northern Ireland Alliance Party signed the agreement in Sunningdale, Berkshire. There were differences of opinion between the parties in the Assembly and the role of the Irish Council was not specified.
Tuesday, October 23, 1973 The Standing Committee of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) voted by 132 votes to 105 in favor of a policy that would allow UUP members to participate in a future power-sharing executive. [While Brian Faulkner, then leader of the UUP, expressed public joy at the result, the rarity of victory was an indication of deep divisions within the UUP.] These problems were solved, at least in theory, by the Sunningdale agreement. This agreement, signed in December 1973, created three political bodies: a proportionally elected Northern Ireland Assembly, an executive government with nationalists and unionists divided by nationalists and unionists, and a “Council of Ireland” composed of delegates from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Sunday, December 9, 1973 A communiqué was issued announcing that an agreement had been reached at the Sunningdale talks; this statement should be known as the Sunningdale Agreement. .