On 15 December 1993 An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and Prime Minister John Major sign the Downing Street Declaration.

Under the declaration talks on the future of Northern Ireland are now open to the inclusion of Sinn Féin and democratic loyalist parties provided associated paramilitary groups hand over their arms.

This historic declaration is a signal to the public that both governments are open to talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Reporter Charlie Bird talks to Chris McGimpsey of the Ulster Unionist Party about the talks process and the declaration. Senator Gordon Wilson says that the declaration gives the men of violence an opportunity to bring their campaign to an end. Brian Lenihan describes the seven page document as an opportunity to bring peace to the island. Another Fianna Fáil TD Jim McDaid agrees that this is an opportunity to put an end to violence.

As the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Minister for Justice arrive back in Dublin they were greeted by members of the cabinet. Albert Reynolds comments

I think today's declaration by the two governments is indeed the first step along the road towards the achievement of a just and lasting peace.

Back at Leinster House the coalition government led by An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and Labour leader and Tanaiste Dick Spring talk about progress towards peace.