Bbc History The Good Friday Agreement
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On Friday, April 10, 1998, at 5:30 p.m., an American politician named George Mitchell, who led the talks, said: “I am pleased to announce that the two governments and political parties in Northern Ireland have reached an agreement.” Sinn Féines Minrtin Muilleoir said the promise of the agreement had not been kept. One young man said of the agreement: “Erm, I`ve never heard of it. I don`t know. “PlayGerry Adams describes how he knew that the 1998 peace agreement would be accepted Although the Democratic Unionist Party was the only major party in Northern Ireland to oppose the agreement (with the more marginal UK), UUP and Sinn Féin said they had to send the document back to their wider members before signing the agreement. The IRA renewed its ceasefire on 20 July 1997 and paved the way for Sinn Féin to participate in the discussions between the parties that had begun under Mitchell`s presidency. However, the issue of decommissioning persisted and the British and Irish governments tried to thwart the issue instead of letting the process derail again. As a result, Ian Paisley`s Hard-Line Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) party came out of the talks and never returned. The DUP refused any concessions on Northern Ireland`s constitutional position or negotiated with Sinn Féin, which it considered a terrorist. Although it was deeply unhappy, the more moderate UUP remained in the discussions. Faced with the DUP`s stated desire to halt the talks, Mitchell later wrote in his memoirs that his decision to leave had indeed helped reach an agreement. However, it is expected to have a lasting influence on Northern Ireland`s policy, as the DUP`s opposition to the Good Friday Agreement has severely hampered its implementation. Sinn Féin participated in all-party talks on 15 September 1997, after adhesing to the Mitchell Principles. An agreement that can`t even agree on its own name – irony.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP, who was part of the Ulster Unionist negotiating team before the deal, said the party`s chairman, David Trimble, had been harassed for signing an erroneous deal. On 10 April 1998, the so-called Good Friday Agreement (or Belfast Agreement) was signed. The agreement helped end a period of conflict in the region, known as a riot. “Northern Ireland is in a better place today than it was 20 years ago, for sure, but we still have a long way to go, and the shortcomings of the agreement, which were not corrected at the time, have yet to be corrected.” After marathon negotiations, an agreement was finally reached on 10 April 1998. The Good Friday Agreement was a complex balancing act that reflects the three-strand approach. Within Northern Ireland, it has created a new de-elected assembly for Northern Ireland, calling for executive power to be shared by parties representing both communities. In addition, a new North-South Council of Ministers should be set up to institutionalise the link between the two parts of Ireland. The Irish Government has also committed to amending Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of the Republic, which appeal to Northern Ireland, to reflect the aspiration for Irish unity through purely democratic means, while accepting the diversity of identities and traditions in Ireland.