This article decries the Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Bertie Ahern signing over the constitutional claim on the six counties over to Northern Ireland. Also the English Prime Minister Tony Blair giving power to Ulster and the IRA agreed to hand over their weapons, this agreement is known as the Good Friday agreement. This particular agreement was started in April of 1999 and the 603 days, which have passed, have been very nervous because this was a giant step in the peace process. However finally on Thursday 2nd of December the Good Friday agreement was signed and completed by the Ulster secretary Peter Mandelson.
Ulster is no longer under English rule and the Republic of Ireland has no claims in what goes on in Ulster and the 10 ministers form the new government of Ulster. The reactions to this meeting were very positive with Ulster’s first minister David Trimble stating that it was a great meeting and the future looks very bright because of the friendliness of all the people involved. The Ulster unionist leader had no complaints about sitting at the same table with ex-IRA (Irish republic army) and Nationalist Martin McGuinnes dissipate them being sworn enemies.
This suggests that times are changing for the better and peace is perhaps starting to be achieved because these two sworn enemies are having a civil conversation. Also the picture in the center of the newspaper article suggests that everyone sitting at the table is happy and proud of this agreement. Especially David Trimble who looks extremely overcome with joy. From the start this meeting was very relaxed because the Nationalist Sinn Fein member Martin McGuinnes sat in a unionists seat and laughter was shared amongst the room.
Ulster now has 10 new ministers who will run and control Northern Ireland. These members consist of the SDLP (Social Democratic Labour party) led by John Hume and also the new government consists of Sinn Fein. Working together is the way forward and this is being achieved, the Good Friday agreement is a massive step this article suggests. However this meeting was not immaculate and it was not expected to be. Unionist ministers tried to stop the agreement from being reached by boycotting the meeting. These two members of the Democratic Unionist party were Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson.
Nigel Dodds was outraged from what was taking place and felt that the agreement stood against everything the Unionists believed in. Also Gerry Adams the chief of Nationalist party Sinn Fein made a joke of this agreement being stupid because there is a long time to wait for any step towards peace to be made and he implied that no real separation has been made. Another crises was that security chiefs stated that the IRA are contemplating and stratifying attacks on mainland Britain to try and prevent the peace.
This seems to be a small branch of the IRA who are extremists and call themselves the new IRA. If the IRA don’t hand in their weapons (decommissioning) then David Trimble the first minister will quit which will bring a fall to the entire group. If the IRA don’t agree and Mr Trimble does resign then the Good Friday agreement will be partly a failure. This didn’t seem to spoil the day though and Irish Foreign minister David Andrews declared that this day will always remain in everyone’s minds and will never be forgotten because of its importance.
The meeting was held near the edge of capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin at the Stormont’s parliament buildings were the country is ran from. The Good Friday agreement has introduced greater links between Northern and Southern Ireland governments and the security between the two countries has dramatically increased to ensure that peace is kept. All the factors of this agreement keep coming back to peace, which shows that peace will be accomplished in the near future.
The 603 days taken to conclude this agreement shows the shear importance of it and how difficult it was to get all sides on board but now it has been accomplished it was a great achievement. The Northern Irish assembly takes over since 1972 and they can now apply direct rule in Ulster. The Republic of Ireland PM Bertie Ahern stated that every single Irish person should feel happy today about the peace achieved. This newspaper article delivers a very positive attitude and shows the optimism that is shared with all the 10 ministers of Northern Ireland.