Finally, it was agreed that the Council executive would be limited to `tourism, the protection of nature and aspects of animal health`, but this did not reassure the Unionists, who saw the Republic`s influence on northern affairs as a further step towards a united Ireland. They had their fears confirmed when, in a speech at Trinity College Dublin, SDLP Councillor Hugh Logue publicly described the Irish Council as “a vehicle that would plunge trade unionists into a united Ireland”.”  On 10 December, the day after the agreement was announced, loyalist paramilitaries formed the Ulster Army Council – a coalition of loyalist paramilitary groups, including the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force, who would oppose the agreement. On Thursday, February 28, 1974, general elections were held in the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland, 30,000 members of the security forces were deployed during the day, but a series of shootings and bombings took place throughout the region. Indeed, the elections in Northern Ireland were a referendum on power-sharing and the Council of Ireland, as proposed in the Sunningdale Agreement. There was no electoral pact between the parties in favour of the executive. However, there was a very successful pact among the opponents of the Sunningdale agreement who joined the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC). UUUC was formed by three main loyalist parties: democratic Unionist Party (DUP), (Ulster) Vanguard and Official Unionists (West). These parties have agreed to nominate a candidate in each riding. UUUC`s campaign slogan was: “Dublin is only one Sunni.” Candidates running for UUUC won 11 of the 12 seats in Northern Ireland and won 51.1 per cent of the vote. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held West Belfast. [Although the election did not signal the immediate end of the executive, it gave opponents of the Sunningdale agreement a powerful mandate to continue their opposition to that end.] [In Britain, Labour won the general election with a short lead. Harold Wilson, then chairman of the Labour Party, became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Merlyn Rees was appointed Minister of Northern Ireland on 5 March 1974.] The 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA), on which the current system of decentralisation in Northern Ireland is based, is similar to that of Sunningdale.  Irish politician Séamus Mallon, who participated in the negotiations, called the agreement “Sunningdale for slow learners.” This claim has been criticized by political scientists such as Richard Wilford and Stefan Wolff. The former said that “it`s… [Sunningdale and Belfast] have considerable differences, both in terms of the content and circumstances of their negotiation, implementation and implementation.”  On 21 November, an agreement was reached on a voluntary coalition of parties that agreed (contrary to the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, which defines Hondt`s method for electing ministers in relation to the main parties in the Assembly). The distinguished members of the executive were former Unionist Prime Minister Brian Faulkner as Chief Executive, Gerry Fitt, Head of the SDLP, Deputy Director General, future Nobel Laureate and Leader of the SDLP John Hume as Trade Minister and Chairman of the Oliver Napier Alliance Party as Minister of Law and Head of the Law Reform Office.