Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Also known as the Good Friday Agreement, the historic treaty, will be available for members of the public to view at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), located in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

The original UK Government's signed copy of the Agreement features the signatories of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, the late Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs David Andrews - the 54-page document will be on display in PRONI from today until 12 April.

It is on loan from The National Archives (UK) to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Agreement and will make its first public appearance in Northern Ireland at a joint event hosted by PRONI and the National Archives Ireland 'On the Record: Reflections on the Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement)'.

PRONI acting director, David Huddleston said:

"Today is a day of firsts - the first time that the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement has been in Northern Ireland since 1998, the first time that PRONI and the National Archives Ireland have delivered a joint public event and hopefully the opportunity to view the Good Friday Agreement will encourage more people to visit PRONI for the first time and  learn more about the wide range of free services we deliver to the public.

"This provides a unique opportunity for people to come and view the historic agreement and while they are in PRONI to discover the wealth of public records we have available including those from government, courts and local authorities as well as privately deposited records from churches, businesses and individuals."

Today's event at PRONI features a panel discussion offering a range of perspectives on official state records relating to the Multi-Party Agreement and the British-Irish Agreement.

The exhibition is open to the public from 3-12 April without booking and other key documents charting political developments leading up to the Good Friday Agreement and post the Agreement will also be available to view at PRONI.

These include a record of the first official NIO meeting with Sinn Fein delegation led by Martin McGuinness in December 1994, plans by the then Secretary of State to change the public image of Parliament Buildings, Stormont, notes from meetings with the late John Hume and David Trimble in April 1998 and from discussions with the Orange Order in November 1998.

The support of the Northern Ireland Office was key in facilitating the loan of the Agreement to PRONI and ensuring its return to Northern Ireland in time for the landmark anniversary. 

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