Statement by President Nelson Mandela on Irish referendums

23 May 1998

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, and on my own behalf, I would like to express my absolute delight at the overwhelmingly positive results achieved during the referendums today in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

There have indeed been many dark and difficult days on the road to achieving this momentous positive outcome.

Nevertheless the Prime Ministers both of the United Kingdom and Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Ireland have relentlessly encouraged and nurtured the process. Our sincere congratulations are also due to the leaders of all the parties involved, and undoubtedly to the voters, who have so visibly demonstrated their desire for peace and stability rather than conflict and violence.

South Africa rejoices with you at this great step forward and trusts that through further co-operation and negotiation by all concerned, Northern Ireland will become a shining beacon of peace to the International community.

Issued by: Department of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website