Friday, October 16, 1998 Published at 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
The long search for peace
Nobel Peace Prize winners David Trimble and John Hume with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair
This is not the first time the search for peace in Northern Ireland has been recognised by The Nobel Institute. BBC Belfast's Tom Coulter reports:
In 1977, Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams were jointly awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for Peace.
A year earlier, the two Belfast women had founded the Peace People Movement - a grass-roots, people driven organisation that saw thousands of ordinary men and women from across the provinces' religious divide take to the streets demanding an end to violence.
Peace prizes the people of Northern Ireland have had before - what most don't want is the disappointment of this latest peace initiative running into the sand, as the Peace People Movement did in the late 70s - without a lasting solution to Northern Ireland's political difficulties being found.
The current peace process is still in its infancy
Eleven months ago the head of the IRA's political wing, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, led his party into the all-party talks at Castle Buildings in the Stormont Estate near Belfast.
However, eight days later they were sitting around the same table as the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble - talks Chairman, former American Senator, George Mitchell, in charge.
In December of last year, Sinn Fein bridged a political gap stretching back more than seventy years when Gerry Adams took a delegation into the heart of British government - number 10 Downing Street for a meeting with British Premier, Tony Blair.
Wright's loyalist colleagues indulged in a series of revenge killings that led to more than a dozen people losing their lives at the hands of sectarian murder gangs.
In spite of the difficulties on the streets, the political process continued. The British and Irish Governments produced their Heads of Agreement document ( the basis for the Belfast agreement in January) just before Sinn Fein were thrown out of the talks because of IRA murders.
The process, which should see a devolved, power-sharing government sitting again in Belfast, still faces its difficulties - in particular the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. But many observers believe the Belfast agreement is the best chance for 30 years of finding a lasting solution to Northern Ireland's violent past.
Those who played a key role in negotiating the way forward - John Hume, David Trimble, Gerry Adams and Senator George Mitchell, still have much work to do, but if they succeed, their places in history are assured.