Insight: Referendum Special



Belfast, Havelock House, Waterfront Hall




Transmission 19/05/1998


1hr 22min 36sec




Betacam SP



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Michael Nesbitt presents this episode, focusing on the upcoming referendum on the Good Friday Agreement; with information provided from a joint Belfast Telegraph and UTV poll.

Beginning at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Bono - from popular rock band, U2 - brought David Trimble  (UUP) and John Hume on stage to congratulate them on putting their differences behind them. The programme then splits into two parts; the first focusing on a panel of unionist leaders and the second, nationalist leaders.

The unionist panel consists of Trimble, David Irvine (Progressive Unionist Party), Monica McWilliams (Unionist Collation) who are for the agreement and Jeffery Donaldson (UUP) and Sammy Wilson (DUP) who are opposed. The nationalist panel is made up by Alex Maskey (Sinn Fein), Mark Durkin (Director of Yes campaign, SDLP), Eamon McCann (who call's himself socialist rather than nationalist) and Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (Republican Sinn Fein). 

Both panels have found that voters are undecided due to prisoner release, police reforms and decommissioning the loyalist and republican paramilitaries.


The Good Friday Agreement referendum, 1998 was a referendum held in Northern Ireland over whether there was support for the Good Friday Agreement. The result was a majority (71.1%) in favour. A simultaneous referendum held in the Republic of Ireland produced an even larger majority (94.4%) in favour.

This differs from the The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement, where a pair of agreements were signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a political conflict in Northern Ireland that had been ongoing since the 1960s. It served as a major development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. Northern Ireland'sNorthern Ireland'spresent devolved system of government is based on the agreement. 


A UTV Production.

Featured: Bono and U2 



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