The Good Friday Agreement


Dietrich Fischer – TRANSCEND Media Service

Former US Senator George Mitchell played a crucial role as mediator in helping bring about a peace settlement between representatives of the Northern Irish Protestants and Sinn Fein, the political arm of the Catholic Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland. He presided over many sessions, for a long time without much progress.

One day, when he arrived, he sang an old hit song by Frank Sinatra. Those present asked him in surprise, “Why did you do that?” He explained, “Because whenever I come here, I hear the same old songs over and over again.”

The parties got the message and realized that this way they could not make any progress. That day they worked harder to hammer out an agreement and reached the Good Friday Agreement on 10 April 1998.


Dietrich Fischer (1941-2015) from Münsingen, Switzerland, got a Licentiate in Mathematics from the University of Bern 1968 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University 1976. 1986-88 he was a MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at Princeton University. He has taught mathematics, computer science, economics and peace studies at various universities and been a consultant to the United Nations. He was co-founder, with Johan Galtung, of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment in 1993.

Excerpted from Dietrich Fischer’s Stories to Inspire You – TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 22 Apr 2019.

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One Response to “The Good Friday Agreement”

  1. rosemerry says:

    Perhaps this is true, but I find that the GFA is the ONE good deed that can be credited to the otherwise monstrous Tony Blair!!!
    It is sad that PM T May and so many of her colleagues seem to care very little about this essential part of the Brexit “agreement”.