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Agreement Reached on Departments and Cross-border Bodies, 18 December 1998

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Research: Fionnuala McKenna
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In the early hours of the morning of Friday 18 December 1998, after 18 hours of talks, the pro-Agreement parties at Stormont made a significant breakthrough in the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and consequently the peace process.

The parties reached accommodation on a list of ten departments for the future government of Northern Ireland, and six cross-border implementation bodies comprising ministers from North and South of the border for the first time. These are listed briefly below. A joint statement providing further details on this agreement was issued later that day by First Minister David Trimble and Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon.

Summary List of Departments and Cross-Border Bodies

    10 Government Departments
    • agriculture and rural development
    • enterprise, trade and investment (to include tourism)
    • health, social care and public safety
    • finance and personnel
    • education
    • advanced education, training and employment
    • the environment
    • regional development
    • social development
    • culture, arts and leisure

    6 Cross-border Implementation Bodies;

    • Inland waterways,
    • food safety,
    • trade and business development,
    • EU programmes,
    • Language (Irish and Ulster Scots)
    • Aquaculture.

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