The Good Friday Agreement: The Ceasefire Generation 19 Years On…

On Friday 10th April 1998, the face of Northern Ireland was about to change with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. At 5.30pm that evening, American Senator George Mitchell stated..."I am pleased to announce that the two governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland have reached agreement". The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) contained proposals for a Northern Ireland Assembly with a power-sharing executive, new cross-border institutions with the Republic of Ireland and a body linking devolved assemblies across the UK with Westminster and Dublin. The Republic of Ireland had also agreed to drop its constitutional claim to the six counties, paramilitary groups would also decommission their weapons, and the future of policing in Northern Ireland was to be overhauled, along with the early release of paramilitary prisoners.