As I Remember It: Bertie Ahern & The Good Friday Agreement

As I Remember It: Bertie Ahern & The Good Friday Agreement

By Newstalk

'As I Remember It: Bertie Ahern & the Good Friday Agreement' tells the story of the Good Friday Agreement as told by those who negotiated it and marks the first time all those involved have reunited to reflect on the negotiations in 25 years. #GFA25.

Episodes

Extended Interview: Liz O'Donnell

Liz O’Donnell was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Bertie Ahern’s newly formed coalition Government in 1997. In this extended interview, Liz explains to Bertie Ahern how she came to be involved in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement. She details her experience of the multi-party talks, the roadblocks along the way, and the lasting impact the Omagh Bombing had on her.
26/04/23·49m 27s

Extended Interview: Monica McWilliams

The Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition played a key role in the Good Friday Agreement negotiations. In this extended interview, Monica McWilliams tells Bertie Ahern how the party came into existence, her own personal loss as a result of the troubles and the misogyny the women in the room felt.
14/04/23·1h 4m

Extended Interview: Peter Robinson

There was one major party in Northern Ireland that did not participate in the multi-party talks that resulted in The Good Friday Agreement. The DUP, led at the time by Ian Paisley, refused to engage in the negotiations and campaigned for a 'No' vote in the referendum that followed. Peter Robinson, who took over as leader of the party and served as First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly from 2008 until 2016. explains to Bertie why the party stayed out of the talks, why he regrets not engaging with Sinn Féin sooner and what aspects of the agreement he thinks have been a success.
06/04/23·43m 1s

Extended Interview: George Mitchell

Senator George Mitchell was the independent chair of the talks. This is the full conversation between Senator Mitchell and Bertie Ahern, in which they discuss how George came to be involved in the politics of Northern Ireland, the challenge of managing the big personalities in the room, and the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement.
04/04/23·1h 8m

Episode 9: Legacy

In this final episode, Bertie Ahern looks at how the agreement has served the people of Ireland over the past quarter of a century, analyses the challenges that have been posed by Brexit, and asks what the future holds for the generations to come. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
09/03/23·1h

Episode 8: The American Influence

Throughout the peace process of the 1990s, US President Bill Clinton played a key role in steadying the nerves of the parties and helping to get the deal across the line. In this episode, Bertie Ahern reunites with President Clinton to hear why he became so invested in securing peace in Northern Ireland, the impact the bombing of Omagh had on him, and how the island of Ireland has set the standard globally for what a peace deal can achieve. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
09/03/23·39m 33s

Episode 7: Two Days

Within months of the Good Friday Agreement, two significant days - in May and August 1998 - put the peace process to the test but ultimately demonstrated how far the people of Northern Ireland had come. In this episode, Bertie speaks to those who campaigned in the referendum that was held on 22nd May 1998, including Tony Blair, Dawn Purvis, and Monica McWilliams while Martin Mansergh explains the delicate planning behind the constitutional changes that were put to the people on the same day in the Republic. Just a few months later, the hard-fought-for peace was jeopardised when the biggest single atrocity in the history of the Troubles occurred in Omagh. Tony Blair, Liz O’Donnell, David Andrews, and Sean Farren share the shock they felt on that horrendous day and how the cruel bombing only served to increase their determination to move forwards. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
09/03/23·40m 43s

Episode 6: Deadline

With little progress and many twists and turns along the way, the talks continued. Events were expedited, however, when the independent chair, Senator George Mitchell set a deadline of Easter for the conclusion of the talks. In this episode, Bertie Ahern recalls how the final few days leading up to the signing of The Good Friday Agreement unfolded. He recalls how he had to work through the night despite enduring his own personal tragedy on the final week, Unionist figures remember the last-minute walkouts and protests that attempted to derail the entire process and former US President Bill Clinton reveals why he intervened at the eleventh hour. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
02/03/23·59m 11s

Episode 5: The Talks

In this episode, Bertie Ahern and those negotiating the peace deal for Northern Ireland share their memories of the tensions between unionists and Sinn Fein as the talks got underway, the misogyny experienced by the women in the process, the suspensions of some parties following a return to violence over Christmas 1997 and the game-changing interventions of Monica McWilliams and Northern Secretary Mo Mowlam when they decided to visit hardline loyalists in prison. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
02/03/23·53m 45s

Episode 4: The Hand of History

Tony Blair was elected British Prime Minister in May 1997. A month later, Bertie Ahern became Taoiseach of Ireland and they worked together to make peace in Northern Ireland a key priority. In this episode, he speaks exclusively with Bertie about the negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement, the critical part David Trimble’s leadership played in the multi-party talks, and how, despite many bumps in the road, he was determined to make it work. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
02/03/23·52m 42s

Episode 3: Finding a Way Forward

In this episode, Bertie Ahern reunites with the rest of the parties that participated in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement. Gary McMichael of the UDP recalls how his father’s murder motivated him to get into politics. Dermot Nesbitt of the UUP, Dawn Purvis of the PUP, Lord John Alderdice of the Alliance Party, Avila Kilmurray, and Monica McWilliams of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition also share their recollections. Plus Bertie talks to Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff at the time, Jonathan Powell.  For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
22/02/23·58m 46s

Episode 2: Democracy Works

In 1997 two Governments and eight political parties agreed to work together to reach a peace deal. In this episode, Bertie speaks with Senator George Mitchell, who outlines the format for the talks and how the issue of decommissioning almost put a halt to the entire process before it began. We hear from Peter Robinson on why the DUP didn’t engage in the multi-party talks, Gerry Kelly on how Sinn Féin got a seat at the table, and John Hume Jr on his father’s relentless quest to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Plus Sean Farren of the SDLP and Liz O’Donnell who was the Irish government’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs share their recollections of the time. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
22/02/23·53m 5s

Episode 1: The Path to Peace

Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach of Ireland from 1997 -2008, tells the story of why the Good Friday Agreement was needed and the efforts required to get both nationalists and unionists to the negotiating table. In the first episode of this series, Bertie explains the reality of ‘The Troubles’, the previous attempts at a peace deal, and how a US Senator came to chair the talks. For more information, full interviews, and bonus material head to Newstalk.com/GoodFridayAgreement.
22/02/23·32m 49s

As I Remember It: Bertie Ahern & The Good Friday Agreement

'As I Remember It: Bertie Ahern & the Good Friday Agreement' tells the story of the Good Friday Agreement as told by those who negotiated it and marks the first time all those involved have reunited to reflect on the negotiations in 25 years. #GFA25.
08/02/23·2m 50s
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