Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Give Blair Power Share Credit

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Give Blair Power Share Credit

Article excerpt

It may seem heresy to say so but the credit for getting Unionists and Irish republicans into a power sharing Assembly in Northern Ireland belongs to Tony Blair not, as Ed Mallon believes, Mo Mowlam (Graves Reminder, 14.4.7)

Tony Blair was present throughout the negotiations on April 10, 1998, which led to the signing of the Belfast Agreement. The hard line Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Dr Ian Paisley would have nothing to do with it.

David Trimble, the leader of the moderate Ulster Unionist Party, would not sign because the Agreement did not require the Provisional IRA to disarm.

Tony Blair wrote to Trimble assuring him that the Agreement did require the PIRA to disarm. Trimble then signed.

With the Agreement signed, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness appeared in front of the television cameras to say the Agreement did not require the PIRA to disarm. This destroyed Trimble.

He was discredited in the eyes of the Unionist population. …

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