At the commemoration of the 1916 Easter Uprising, Ahern said the agreement had been reached between the British and Irish governments and eight northern Ireland political parties or groups. Three were representative of unionism: the Ulster Unionist Party, which had led unionism in Ulster since the early 20th century, and two small parties linked to loyalist paramilitaries, the Progressive Unionist Party (linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Democratic Party (the political wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Two of them have been widely described as nationalists: the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin, the Republican party affiliated with the Provisional Republican Army. [4] [5] Apart from these rival traditions, there were two other assemblies, the Inter-Community Alliance Party and the Northern Ireland Women`s Coalition. There was also the Labour coalition. U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell was sent by U.S. President Bill Clinton to chair the talks between parties and groups. [6] The result of these referendums was a large majority in both parts of Ireland in favour of the agreement. In the Republic, 56% of the electorate voted, 94% of the vote voted in favour of the revision of the Constitution. The turnout was 81% in Northern Ireland, with 71% of the vote for the agreement.

As part of the proposed agreement, the government has issued a number of financial and other commitments, as has the British government. Among the commitments made by the Irish Government is the work being done through the North-South Council of Ministers to carry out projects that benefit the people of the whole island, including greater connectivity, from the North and South and investments in the north-west region and border communities. A copy of the agreement was published in every assembly in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so that people could read before a referendum where they could vote. As part of the agreement, the British and Irish governments committed to holding referendums in Northern Ireland and the Republic on 22 May 1998. The referendum on Northern Ireland is expected to approve the deal reached at the multi-party talks. The Republic of Ireland`s referendum should approve the Anglo-Irish agreement and facilitate the modification of the Irish constitution in accordance with the agreement. On Friday, April 10, 1998, at 5:30 p.m., an American politician named George Mitchell, who led the talks, said: “I am pleased to announce that the two governments and political parties in Northern Ireland have reached an agreement.” In 2004, negotiations were held between the two governments, the DUP, and Sinn Féin, for an agreement to restore the institutions. The talks failed, but a document published by governments detailing the changes to the Belfast agreement was known as the “comprehensive agreement.” However, on 26 September 2005, it was announced that the Provisional Republican Army of Ireland had completely closed its arsenal of weapons and had “taken it out of service”. Nevertheless, many trade unionists, especially the DUP, remained skeptical.