WATCH: Implementing the Agreement #GFA25

While negotiating teams had the opportunity to endorse what became known as the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement on 10 April 1998, the electorate were given the chance to approve the political agreement by referendum. On 22 May 1998, 81.1% of the electorate in Northern Ireland turned out, with 71.1% of them voting in favour of the (bureaucratically-worded) question: “Do you support the agreement reached at the multi-party talks on Northern Ireland and set out in Command Paper 3883?” (Across the border, turnout in the sister referendum was 56.3%, with 94.4% voting yes to amend Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland.)

It would take until December 1999 for full powers to be devolved to the first Northern Ireland Assembly. So what happened between April 1998 and December 1999?

Lord Alderdice, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Bronagh Hinds, Conor Murphy and Quintin Oliver joined QUB’s Professor Marie Coleman a couple of weeks ago in The Linen Hall Library to discuss Implementing the Agreement (YouTube), part of the library’s Origins & Legacies project.

YouTube video

The first two events in the series can also be watched online. The associated exhibition in the library runs until the end of May.


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