Ireland: Leaders greet referendum verdict

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The Independent Online
Mo Mowlam, Northern Ireland Secretary:

"This was a historic decision. People have voted to take the gun out of politics; they can now elect their own representatives to come together and make things work."

David Trimble, Ulster Unionist leader:

"We are now looking forward to the new assembly. There will be problems, but I believe the people have confidence in themselves and their chosen elected representatives to see this work."

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein President:

"They had been ahead of the politicians and have taken a leap of faith."

Ian Paisley, Democratic Unionist leader:

"They spent three million to buy the people's votes."

John Hume, SDLP leader:

"You are telling us to lay the foundations for lasting peace and stability, and you did it in great numbers."

Robert McCartney, UK Unionist Party leader and leading No campaigner:

"We have taken a clear majority of the pro-Unionist community in the face of a massive propaganda campaign."

David Ervine, Progressive Unionist Party:

"Nothing will ever be the same again. This agreement has not been brought by politicians but by the people who had lusted after peace for so long."

John Major, former British prime minister:

"In Northern Ireland, at last, the future has defeated the past."

Tony Blair, Prime Minister:

"It is clear that the majority of Unionists as well as the majority of nationalists voted Yes."

Bill Clinton, US President:

"All over America the eyes of Irish Americans and indeed all our people are smiling."

George Mitchell, peace talks chairman:

"A powerful message, a great positive step forward."