This day in Irish History 10 April 1998: The Good Friday Agreement was signed

Catalpast

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10 April 1998: The Good Friday Agreement was signed on this day. The agreement was entered into by various political parties in the North backed by the British and Irish Governments who simultaneously signed up to a new Treaty beteween the UK and Ireland to replace the Anglo- Irish Treaty of 1921.

The agreement was made up of two inter-related documents, both agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April 1998:
a multi-party agreement by most of Northern Ireland's political parties (the Multi-Party Agreement);
an international agreement between the British and Irish governments (the British-Irish Agreement).
This day in Irish History 10 April 1998: The Good Friday Agreement was signed


It had taken years of tough and interminable negotiations to get to this stage, first to get a Ceasefire by Republicans and Loyalists in place and getting it to stick and then having Governments in place in Dublin & London with the ability and willingness to strike a Deal. There had also been a marked refusal and then a grudging reluctance by the Unionist side to engage in talks with Sinn Fein in particular. However nearly all Parties in Ireland and Britain accepted it when done with the notable exception of the DUP led by Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley.

The essential elements were the establishment of a Power sharing executive at Stormont that would include both Unionist and Nationalist Cabinet Ministers and the setting up of North- South bodies that would enable an active cross border element of co operation. In addition the Dublin Government agreed to drop articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution that stated that Ireland consisted of all the 32 Counties, a claim that to many Unionists a sense of entitlement to rule over the North without their consent.

The Agreement stated that:

“it is for the people of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a United Ireland, accepting that this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland”.

The Agreement put in place a framework to establish a number of political institutions. This framework is made up of three strands, together representing the relationships that exist within and between the islands of Britain and Ireland.
Strand One
The Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive were set up so that the elected political parties could share power. The Assembly is located at Stormont, just outside Belfast.
Strand Two
The North South Ministerial Council was set up to develop co-operation between both parts of Ireland.
Strand Three
The British-Irish Council was set up to promote the relationship between Ireland and Britain.

https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/northern-ireland/the-good-friday-agreement-and-today/

There were two seperate endorsments of the Agreement in both parts of Ireland held on 22 May 1998. In the North some 71% of voters accepted it and in the Republic it was passed by 94% of the Electorate.

These devolved institutions only operated intermittently in the years immediately following the Good Friday Agreement, and the Irish and British Governments have continued to work with the parties to build trust and confidence but as things stand on its 20th aniversary the Power Sharing Executive is suspended and of the Agreement it appears to be dormant rather than active in its operation, except in one very important detail - there is Peace in the North.
 


Analyzer

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The one regret that I have is that there was no attempt made to tell the truth about the criminality that exists in the Provisional Cult.

Was silence part of the deal ?
 

Disillusioned democrat

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20 years and the NI politicians still hold behave like spoilt children.

It's high time they were made grow up, take responsibility and actually manage the dysfunctional statelet. The highest % of state funded families in the UK between civil servants and social welfare.

NI politics always reminds me of this guy



Sickening to think the ABCs (Ahern Blair and Clinton) dined out on this peace "agreement" since then.
 

raetsel

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Sickening to think the ABCs (Ahern Blair and Clinton) dined out on this peace "agreement" since then.
Idiotic comment......................

As one of the beneficiaries of the Good Friday Agreement, i.e. as someone who lived in Northern Ireland throughout the Troubles and who witnessed more than my fair share of bombings, shootings and even a few armed robberies, and who worried about my children getting caught up in an Omagh type bombing, I'm eternally grateful to John Hume primarily, but also to Ahern, Blair and Clinton, as well as George Mitchell, for going the extra mile, for continuing to believe, and for burning the midnight oil in their quest to resolve the seemingly unresolvable.
Things might be less than perfect here politically, but I still haven't forgotten how nice it is to be able to go about my daily business these days without the sort of anxieties and fears that permanently lurked in one's sub-conscious for the three decades of the Troubles.
 

fifilawe

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We will still be here on celebration of the 50th Anniversary."You can bring the horse to the water, but you can't make him drink it".
So-called God-fearing Christians on both sides of this "peace" have instinctive hatred for the other going back to the "plantation" started in the reign of king James I.It is like trying to stop the birds migrating from Africa to here for the breeding season.They have been doing it before man walked on Earth and it is in their DNA,subconsciousness.
 

NMunsterman

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10 April 1998: The Good Friday Agreement was signed on this day. The agreement was entered into by various political parties in the North backed by the British and Irish Governments who simultaneously signed up to a new Treaty beteween the UK and Ireland to replace the Anglo- Irish Treaty of 1921.

The agreement was made up of two inter-related documents, both agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April 1998:
a multi-party agreement by most of Northern Ireland's political parties (the Multi-Party Agreement);
an international agreement between the British and Irish governments (the British-Irish Agreement).
This day in Irish History 10 April 1998: The Good Friday Agreement was signed


It had taken years of tough and interminable negotiations to get to this stage, first to get a Ceasefire by Republicans and Loyalists in place and getting it to stick and then having Governments in place in Dublin & London with the ability and willingness to strike a Deal. There had also been a marked refusal and then a grudging reluctance by the Unionist side to engage in talks with Sinn Fein in particular. However nearly all Parties in Ireland and Britain accepted it when done with the notable exception of the DUP led by Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley.

The essential elements were the establishment of a Power sharing executive at Stormont that would include both Unionist and Nationalist Cabinet Ministers and the setting up of North- South bodies that would enable an active cross border element of co operation. In addition the Dublin Government agreed to drop articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution that stated that Ireland consisted of all the 32 Counties, a claim that to many Unionists a sense of entitlement to rule over the North without their consent.

The Agreement stated that:

“it is for the people of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a United Ireland, accepting that this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland”.

The Agreement put in place a framework to establish a number of political institutions. This framework is made up of three strands, together representing the relationships that exist within and between the islands of Britain and Ireland.
Strand One
The Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive were set up so that the elected political parties could share power. The Assembly is located at Stormont, just outside Belfast.
Strand Two
The North South Ministerial Council was set up to develop co-operation between both parts of Ireland.
Strand Three
The British-Irish Council was set up to promote the relationship between Ireland and Britain.

https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/northern-ireland/the-good-friday-agreement-and-today/

There were two seperate endorsments of the Agreement in both parts of Ireland held on 22 May 1998. In the North some 71% of voters accepted it and in the Republic it was passed by 94% of the Electorate.

These devolved institutions only operated intermittently in the years immediately following the Good Friday Agreement, and the Irish and British Governments have continued to work with the parties to build trust and confidence but as things stand on its 20th aniversary the Power Sharing Executive is suspended and of the Agreement it appears to be dormant rather than active in its operation, except in one very important detail - there is Peace in the North.
Hardline Brexiteers and hardline Unionists like the DUP are determined to undermine the Good Friday Agreement - they must not get their way, come what may.

Ireland and our EU partners must remain steadfast in protecting the GFA and continue to ensure that the there is no change to the current Border arrangements.

Fair play to Bertie Ahern and Hilary Clinton for coming out so strongly in defending the GFA.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Idiotic comment......................

As one of the beneficiaries of the Good Friday Agreement, i.e. as someone who lived in Northern Ireland throughout the Troubles and who witnessed more than my fair share of bombings, shootings and even a few armed robberies, and who worried about my children getting caught up in an Omagh type bombing, I'm eternally grateful to John Hume primarily, but also to Ahern, Blair and Clinton, as well as George Mitchell, for going the extra mile, for continuing to believe, and for burning the midnight oil in their quest to resolve the seemingly unresolvable.
Things might be less than perfect here politically, but I still haven't forgotten how nice it is to be able to go about my daily business these days without the sort of anxieties and fears that permanently lurked in one's sub-conscious for the three decades of the Troubles.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of peace in NI and also spend 5 years there during the worst of the violence so I know what I'm talking about.

My problem is that the GFA has been allowed drift - a 20 year process FFS. There should have been more milestones defined and also, like all good parents, the stakeholders should have been more proactive at distancing themselves from the NI governments - instead we say the petulant pols getting access to the Whitehouse or Downing St whenever they threatened to throw their toys out of the pram and seemed to revel in the threat that they were only ever one step away from descending into the "bad old days".
 

RasherHash

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Good Friday Agreement negotiator Jonathan Powell has said some unionists would prefer to live in a united Ireland over leaving the EU.

Mr Powell served as chief of staff for former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and was lead British negotiator on Northern Ireland.

He said: "There's an element of truth about a united Ireland saving pro-EU Northern Irish people from Brexit."

Mr Powell said anecdotally he had heard such a narrative from unionist friends who are worried about the damaging consequences of British withdrawal from the EU.


https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/some-unionists-would-prefer-united-ireland-to-brexit-says-powell-36786960.html
 

making waves

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My problem is that the GFA has been allowed drift - a 20 year process FFS. There should have been more milestones defined and also, like all good parents, the stakeholders should have been more proactive at distancing themselves from the NI governments - instead we say the petulant pols getting access to the Whitehouse or Downing St whenever they threatened to throw their toys out of the pram and seemed to revel in the threat that they were only ever one step away from descending into the "bad old days".
The GFA was never designed as a solution - it was a mechanism to bring about stabilisation of the situation in the North. The GFA institutionalises sectarianism and as such cannot eliminate sectarianism. The product of this institutionalisation of sectarianism is the consolidation of sectarian power-blocs with both sides pitching sectarian messages to their 'community' in order to maintain their political base.
 

raetsel

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Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of peace in NI and also spend 5 years there during the worst of the violence so I know what I'm talking about.

My problem is that the GFA has been allowed drift - a 20 year process FFS. There should have been more milestones defined and also, like all good parents, the stakeholders should have been more proactive at distancing themselves from the NI governments - instead we say the petulant pols getting access to the Whitehouse or Downing St whenever they threatened to throw their toys out of the pram and seemed to revel in the threat that they were only ever one step away from descending into the "bad old days".
Yeah, but your comment about Ahern, Blair and Clinton is entirely unjustified. Their legacies have been overshadowed by other stuff, but the effort they put into reaching a peace agreement, even with all its imperfections, is to their eternal credit.
 

fifilawe

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And your point is?????
The chances of a genuine, full reconciliation, end of point scoring, rubbing the other up the wrong way, changing the cultural practices i.e about the 12th of July bonfires, marching , closing of streets, the other side demanding full language rights where it is like a red rag to a bull on the other side is NIL in my lifetime and I suspect in your lifetime.Separate schooling of the children reinforces the "apartheid" culture that has always been present in the 6 counties and goes back to the early 17th century policy as laid down to the planters who were "granted" the land by the crown.If the planters did not conform the land could be taken off them and granted to a more suitable person for the annual rent.
 

GDPR

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Im glad it lasted so long, because those 20 years were priceless. However nothing lasts forever. Onto the next stage.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Yeah, but your comment about Ahern, Blair and Clinton is entirely unjustified. Their legacies have been overshadowed by other stuff, but the effort they put into reaching a peace agreement, even with all its imperfections, is to their eternal credit.
To be honest I'd hugely disagree - they've all demonstrated a huge level of egotistical narcissism since that time that makes me think they were so desperate for the plaudits that they pretty much fudged the agreement and didn't really care whether it succeeded or not.

Certainly nothing Ahern did before or after demonstrates this was anything other than an opportunistic play to feed his "statesman" ego.
 

Dr Lovemuffin

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Suspend the salaries of the members who refuse to attend NI Assembly. And next time could the voters of NI please vote for the centre ground. The DUP support Brexit which will be a disaster for NI and SF won't take their Westminster seats to sink it - complete bunch of a-holes the lot of them!!
 

The Nal

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[video=youtube;vj9xm0VDF0M]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj9xm0VDF0M[/video]
 

redneck

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The one regret that I have is that there was no attempt made to tell the truth about the criminality that exists in the Provisional Cult.

Was silence part of the deal ?
Criminality exists in all Political parties: Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, DUP and Sinn Féin. The Godfather- Don Corleone said: A man with a briefcase can steal a lot more money than a man with a gun"
 

raetsel

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The GFA was never designed as a solution - it was a mechanism to bring about stabilisation of the situation in the North. The GFA institutionalises sectarianism and as such cannot eliminate sectarianism. The product of this institutionalisation of sectarianism is the consolidation of sectarian power-blocs with both sides pitching sectarian messages to their 'community' in order to maintain their political base.
Hardly surprising considering that the northern state was designed from the very outset to be an undemocratic sectarian state and was unashamedly celebrated as early as 1934, as a Protestant state for a Protestant people, by one of the founding fathers, James Craig.
The only way to finally eliminate the sectarianism is reunification, but it will take time to heal the wounds sufficiently to allow any chance of that coming about peacefully.
However, the GFA hasn't been a failure. Belfast is now a vibrant city with great bars and restaurants and it is a pretty safe place to socialise at night, probably safer than Dublin. And major entertainment acts now come to great new venues like the Waterfront and the Odyssey, something that was pretty unthinkable a couple of decades ago.
Furthermore religious inequalities in employment and housing are now a thing of the past, and ironically we are now fast approaching a situation where Catholics will soon become the majority in the workforce, because of demographic imbalances e.g. Protestants have a much higher representation among the retired.
There is much greater acceptance of the PSNI as a force for all, unlike the RUC. And of course the sectarian UDR no longer patrol our streets.
Compared to the chaos that went before, that all looks like success to me. The glass is more than half full.
 


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