The Sunningdale agreement
in December 1973
, was an attempt to solve the Northern Ireland
problem. It established a form of devolution
, which unlike the previous form, would not be dominated by the Ulster Unionist Party
. Unionists, however, feared that it was intended as the first step towards a United Ireland. The resignation of all UUP Ministers in the Executive in May 1974
finished it off, but it had never really functioned effectively in any case.