Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell has earned a hallowed place in the annals of Irish and Irish-American history for the crucial role he played in chairing the All Party talks in Northern Ireland that culminated in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
On chairing the All Party talks: It’s a labor of love and I mean it. I believe this is a moment of historic opportunity that could set the framework for life in Ireland for not just a few years, but decades, or even centuries. It’s a historic time and a tremendous opportunity to make progress.
On why he took the job: It was a combination of things. First, I admire President Clinton and I wanted to be helpful to him and his administration. Second, it gave me the opportunity to remain active in public policy matters. When I decided not to seek re-election to the Senate I made it clear I was not leaving out of dissatisfaction with public service. Thirdly, and finally, the chance to serve Ireland, the place of my father’ s heritage, was very attractive to me. – May / June 1996 ♦