Independence Referendum: Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement

Validation, Implementation and Review

Validation and Implementation

2. Each Government will organise a referendum on 22 May 1998. Subject to Parliamentary approval, a consultative referendum in Northern Ireland, organised under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Entry to Negotiations, etc.) Act 1996, will address the question: "Do you support the agreement reached in the multi-party talks on Northern Ireland and set out in Command Paper 3883?". The Irish Government will introduce and support in the Oireachtas a Bill to amend the Constitution as described in paragraph 2 of the section "Constitutional Issues" and in Annex B, as follows: (a) to amend Articles 2 and 3 as described in paragraph 8.1 in Annex B above and (b) to amend Article 29 to permit the Government to ratify the new British-Irish Agreement. On passage by the Oireachtas, the Bill will be put to referendum.

Implementation History

1998

Full Implementation

Referendums took place both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on 22 May 1998. In Northern Ireland, people were asked “Do you support the Agreement reached at the multi-party talks on Northern Ireland and set out in Command Paper 3883?”Turnout in the referendum was 81.1% of which 71.1% supported the agreement. In Republic of Ireland, people were asked “Do you approve of the proposal to amend the Constitution contained in the under mentioned Bill ? Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1998.” Turnout in the referendum was 55.6% of which 94.4% supported the proposed constitutional amendment.1

According to the outcome of the referendum, Northern Ireland would stay within the United Kingdom. 

1999

Full Implementation

Referendum took place in 1998. 

2000

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2001

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2002

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2003

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.