"History is past politics, and politics present history." John Robert Seeley

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see." Winston Churchill

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle


 The Good Friday Agreement

April 10th 1998

Today in History2



The negotiations between the Irish & British Governments, Unionist, Nationalist & Republican parties in Northern Ireland finally came to fruition on this day in 1998. 

The agreement was ratified by the following parties:

  • Irish Government
  • British Government
  • Sinn Féin
  • Ulster Unionist Party
  • SDLP

The agreement was opposed by:

  • The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party)


Terms of the Agreement:

  • Principle of Consent: It was agreed that Northern Ireland would remain part of the UK as long as the majority of Northern Ireland’s citizens wanted it.
  • Power-Sharing: The new power-sharing governments of Northern Ireland would have to include represenatatives of both traditions, i.e. Unionist & Nationalist.
  • Government: The ‘First Minister’ & ‘Deputy First Minister’ would lead the government of Northern Ireland. They would be elected to a 108-seater Assembly from 18 constituencies.
  • North-South Bodies: A North-South body was established to create joint co-operation in areas such as Tourism, Sport, Agriculture & Industry.
  • British-Irish Council: A council of the islands of Britain & Ireland, including representatives from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the smaller islands was established to oversee co-operation in agriculture, tourism, security & health.


Ratifying the Agreement

Republic of Ireland: 94.39 % voted in favour
Northern Ireland: 71.2 % voted in favour

A later referendum held in the Republic of Ireland on the Good Friday Agreement, including ratifying changes to Articles 2 & 3 of Bunreacht na hEireann, reflecting the principle of consent in relation to any possible unification of Ireland, was overwhelmingly endorsed by 94.3% of voters in the Republic, while 71% of voters ratified the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

good friday agreement


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