The Belfast Agreement has returned to Northern Ireland for the first time since its signing on 10 April 1998.

Date published: 03 April 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.

Two PRONI staff members with Good Friday Agreement document in front of them

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. 

Notes to editors: 

  • Photo captions: Photo 1:The  original UK Government’s signed copy of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement showing 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 historic document is on loan to Public Record Office of Northern Ireland from The National Archives (UK), where it will be on public display until April 12.
  • Photo 2: Pictured with the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement are PRONI acting director David Huddelston and PRONI head of conservation Sarah Graham. The treaty has arrived in Belfast thanks to a loan agreement with The National Archives (UK) and will be on public display in PRONI until April 12.
  • Speakers at today's event included writer Glenn Patterson, Professor Marie Coleman (historian, QUB), David Donoghue (former civil servant and writer), Amanda Dunsmore (artist) and Malachi O’Doherty (writer). The discussion will be chaired by Miriam O’Callaghan (current affairs presenter, RTE)
  • For more information on PRONI:
  • PRONI is open Monday to Friday and more information on its hours are available at Opening Hours
  • Any filming of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement while it is on loan to PRONI must be made in writing to Department for Communities Press Office
  •  Ad hoc filming will not be permitted. 
  • Any interview requests with PRONI officials should be made through the Department for Communities Press Office.
  • Media enquiries via email to Department for Communities Press Office:
  • The Executive Information Service operates an out of hour’s service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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