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Why Do We Have the Assembly?

What events play a part in the story of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Assembly?

The Assembly was set up after the Belfast Agreement was reached on Good Friday, 10 April 1998. This is also known as the Good Friday Agreement. It was the result of talks between political parties in Northern Ireland and the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The talks aimed to find a way of ending 'The Troubles' of the previous 30 years and to make sure that the different communities could have their say on how Northern Ireland would be governed in the future.

Because of 'The Troubles' it was agreed that Northern Ireland should have a special type of government, called power-sharing. Political parties representing different sections of the community share the power to make decisions about Northern Ireland.  For example, the positions of First Minister and Deputy First Minister are shared between the largest Nationalist and Unionist parties.

Explore the timeline to find out why the Northern Ireland Assembly was set up in 1998.