Tony Blair becomes the first British prime minister to give a joint address to both Houses of the Oireachtas.

In an historic joint address to both Houses of the Oireachtas, British prime minister Tony Blair acknowledges the close ties between Ireland and Britain.

So much shared history, so much shared pain and now the shared hope of a new beginning.

The Good Friday Agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by the people on both sides of the border and the prime minister says

In Belfast or Dublin, people said the same thing; make the agreement work.

Tony Blair urges all sides to move on with the peace process which he knows is at a difficult juncture, but he adds,

Let us not underestimate how far we have come and agree we have come too far, ever, to go back now.

The prime minister remains optimistic that both nationalists and unionist can set up the institutions of the new government and for decommissioning to begin.

I am not asking anyone to surrender; I am asking everyone to declare the victory of peace.

A ‘Five Seven Live’ report broadcast on 26 November 1998. The reporter is Myles Dungan.