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Examining Tony Blair’s Northern Ireland legacy... 25 years after he became PM

Labour leader had his critics but he re-energised failing peace talks to help deliver Good Friday Agreement, writes Garrett Hargan

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Negotiations: Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, PM Tony Blair, Secretary of State Peter Hain and First Minister Ian Paisley at Stormont. Credit: Paul Faith/PA

Negotiations: Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, PM Tony Blair, Secretary of State Peter Hain and First Minister Ian Paisley at Stormont. Credit: Paul Faith/PA

PA

Mr Blair with David Trimble and John Hume in 1998. Credit: Chris Bacon/PA

Mr Blair with David Trimble and John Hume in 1998. Credit: Chris Bacon/PA

PA

Eamonn McCann has been a vocal critic of the Iraq war.

Eamonn McCann has been a vocal critic of the Iraq war.

Mo Mowlam was an integral part of negotiations.

Mo Mowlam was an integral part of negotiations.

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Negotiations: Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, PM Tony Blair, Secretary of State Peter Hain and First Minister Ian Paisley at Stormont. Credit: Paul Faith/PA

“What I welcome above all is that, after keeping us apart for so long, Northern Ireland is now helping to bring us together.”

Those were the words of Tony Blair on November 26, 1998, as he became the first Prime Minister to address the Irish Parliament, created 80 years earlier in defiance of the UK Government.


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