April 10th 1998: Good Friday Agreement signed


From left: Irish leader Bertie Ahern, US Senator George Mitchell and British Prime Minister Tony Blair


On this day in 1998 in a major development of the Northern Ireland peace process, British and Irish representatives signed the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast. It was signed by Irish leader Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the talks were led by former US Senator George Mitchell (D-ME). The agreement followed years of historic conflict and negotiation. The agreement included plans for a Northern Ireland Assembly and a pledge by both sides to use peaceful means of conflict resolution. It set out the present constitutional status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom but with a devolved government. The agreement was approved by Irish voters in a referendum and came into force in December 1999.



Poster for the ‘Yes’ campaign for the referendum on the Agreement


“Today I hope that the burden of history can at long last start to be lifted from our shoulders”
– Tony Blair