Good Friday Agreement

Good Friday Agreement

What is the Good Friday Agreement?

The Good Friday Agreement is a peace deal signed on 10 April 1998 bringing an end to three decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

Also known as the Belfast Agreement, Good Friday Agreement it was a political deal signed by the British and Irish governments, along with political parties in Northern Ireland, to bring an end to 30 years of sectarian violence commonly referred to as “the Troubles”. The conflict had claimed more than 3,500 lives.

What were the Troubles?

  1. Created in 1921 Northern Ireland remained part of the UK when the rest of Ireland became an independent state.
  2. This created a division in the population of Northern Ireland between mostly Protestant Unionists, who wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK, and mostly Catholic Irish Nationalists, who wanted Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland. 
  • From the late 1960s, armed groups such as Armed groups such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) to carry out bombings and shootings to advance their agendas.

Co-operation between communities basis of the Good Friday Agreement 

  • Good Friday Agreement set up a new power-sharing government for Northern Ireland, representing both nationalists and unionists.
  • Under the Good Friday Agreement the Northern Ireland Assembly, an elected assembly was set up and is in Stormont, in Belfast.

Approval of the Good Friday Agreement

  • On May 22, 1998 the Good Friday Agreement was put to a referendum and the agreement was approved by 94 per cent of voters in Ireland and 71 per cent in Northern Ireland.


Key Takeaways

  • The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10 April 1998.
  • It was an agreement between representatives of Ireland and the British government of Northern Ireland. 
  • The peace deal brought an end to 30 years of sectarian violence in Noerthern Ireland. The conflict is commonly referred to as “the Troubles”.
  • The Good Friday Agreement is also known as the Belfast Agreement. 
  • Northern Ireland was created in 1921