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Today sees the release of previously confidential files from Stormont and the Northern Ireland Office covering 1986. The Public Record Office in Belfast have released 749 files relating to 1986 as they move from the 30 year to 20 Year Rule. Of these, 570 are fully open to the public while a further 179 files are subject to redaction or 'blacking out' to remove sensitive data. The Twenty Year Rule, endorsed by the NI Assembly in 2011, is being phased in over 10 years with two years' worth of records being released each year. The previously confidential files can be inspected at PRONI in Belfast's Titanic Quarter from today. Reporting on the Belfast files for The Irish News is Dr Éamon Phoenix, a political historian and broadcaster and Principal Lecturer in History at Stranmillis University College, Queen's University, Belfast. He is the author of Northern Nationalism: Nationalist Politics, Partition and the Catholic Minority in N Ireland 1890-1940 and a member of the taoiseach's Advisory Committee on Centenaries. There will be further reports from the state papers in The Irish News tomorrow

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