PM hails Good Friday Agreement

The Prime Minister has led tributes to the architects of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland on its 15th anniversary. David Cameron said it was a "truly momentous event".

Blair: Good Friday Agreement brings hope for conflicts

Former prime minister Tony Blair, who along with Irish premier Bertie Ahern led the peace talks in Northern Ireland, said the Good Friday Agreement gave hope to conflicts across the world.

15 years ago, when I came to Stormont, there was little expectation of a deal being done. The peace process was in turmoil. But because of the will of the people in Northern Ireland, that historic Good Friday signalled the start of a peaceful future.

Now as I travel to different parts of the world, what happened in Northern Ireland is something that immediately connects with people. It brings hope for other conflicts - from Africa to the Middle East - that a situation that once seemed so bleak can be resolved.

There will be political crises, and there will be continuing problems, but I firmly believe that Northern Ireland will not return to the times of the Troubles. The gains of peace are visible and clear, and there is an overwhelming desire from the people for this to remain.

So 15 years on, we should remember the past but also look confidently towards a peaceful future for Northern Ireland. There can be no going back

Read: Hands of history: Gestures of the Northern Irish peace process

Cameron: NI agreement 'was a truly momentous event'

The Prime Minister has led tributes to the "remarkable political courage" of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, fifteen years after it was signed.

"It represented a massive step forward from what has gone before, a clear manifestation that politics and democracy would triumph over violence," he said.

David Cameron pictured on a trip to Northern Ireland in August 2012 Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

"I have no doubt that the Agreement was a truly momentous event in the history of Northern Ireland.

"The Belfast Agreement was the platform to build a new, confident, inclusive and modern Northern Ireland, whose best days lie ahead. While we have come a long way, much remains to be done."

Advertisement

Good Friday Agreement tributes led by David Cameron

Tributes to the architects of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland have been led by David Cameron to mark its 15th anniversary today.

The Prime Minister said the 1998 political accord, which brought about devolved governance from Stormont, heralded a new beginning after decades of division and terrorism.

Bertie Ahern, George Mitchell, and Tony Blair after they signed the agreement for peace in Northern Ireland

But he warned that more work is needed to build a new Northern Ireland.

The good Friday agreement was reached after nearly two years of talks and 30 years of conflict.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Republic of Ireland's leader Bertie Ahern brokered the deal, following a talks process chaired by former US Senator George Mitchell.