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Good Friday Agreement Anniversary
April 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
An important milestone in Anglo-Irish relations as well as in the recent history of the island of Ireland, the agreement marked the culmination of extensive multi-party talks, involving eight political parties or groupings from Northern Ireland and from across the political spectrum of unionism, loyalism, and nationalism, as well as governments of Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
Chaired by American Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Senator George Mitchell, The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10th April 1998. It signalled an agreed end to the violence that had dominated life in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s through the long road to peace into the early and mid-1990s.
It set in train the processes for reform of policing, decommissioning of weapons, release of prisoners, and for the establishment of new cross-border bodies, a North-South Ministerial Council, a body for East-West relations through a British-Irish Council, as well as a new power-sharing Assembly for Northern Ireland.
Many archive collections at University of Galway Library Archives hold material relating to the Good Friday Agreement, the groundwork carried out in preceding years, the many impacts and legacies of the agreement, as well as direct material of the time. Archive material linked to the Good Friday Agreement can be found in collections relating to Human Rights academic and activist, Kevin Boyle, Civil Servant Maurice Hayes, and mediator and peace-maker Brendan Duddy, with material relating to previous agreements, the 1994 IRA ceasefire and the years of diplomatic efforts which led to the agreement itself in the archive of former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (archive currently under processing) among others.