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Good Friday Agreement

Good Friday Agreement (April 10, 1998) Northern Ireland peace accord signed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and representatives from eight political parties in Northern Ireland. The Agreement provided for a new, 108-seat Northern Ireland Assembly with legislative powers devolved from the British Parliament. It created a North-South Ministerial Council to coordinate policies between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and a ‘Council of the Isles’ to replace the intergovernmental conference established by the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985). The Assembly met for the first time in July, but the peace process stalled when First Minister David Trimble refused to appoint two Sinn Féin members to the executive committee until the Irish Republican Army (IRA) began decommissioning weapons. US Senator George Mitchell conducted a review of the Agreement and secured concessions that, in December 1999, produced home rule in Northern Ireland for the first time since 1974. See also Adams, Gerry; Hume, John; Paisley, Ian

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