April 4, 2007

April 4 2007 marked a symbolic moment in relations between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Prior to a meeting at Farmleigh in Dublin, then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Ian Paisley shook hands. The handshake received much attention, especially because Paisley had previously publicly commented that he would not shake hands in public with the Taoiseach until a political settlement had been reached in Northern Ireland. Ahern described the handshake as ushering in a “new spirit of friendship.”

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