Wednesday, July 1, 1998 Published at 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Trimble elected First Minister
Political enemies sat opposite each other in the assembly
The 108 members of the new Northern Ireland Assembly have taken their seats for the inaugural session at Stormont.
The first session was chaired by Lord John Alderdice, who resigned earlier this week as leader of the cross-party Alliance Party. He was selected unopposed as presiding officer of the assembly.
A shirt-sleeved Gerry Adams took his seat opposite Ian Paisley in the chamber which also includes convicted IRA bomber Gerry Kelly.
One of the assembly's first tasks was to elect Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble as First Minister. His deputy is Seamus Mallon, deputy leader of the SDLP, the second-strongest party in the assembly.
Party leader John Hume said a heavy workload prevented him from putting his own name forward.
The proposal was seconded by John Hume and both Mr Trimble and Mr Mallon accepted the nomination.
Gerry Adams then rose to his feet to express his support for the two men, speaking in Irish.
He said: "I hope we are not going to see a day of stunts, people starting rows and walkouts.
"I hope we are getting past that and going to talk and show a determination to tackle our problems in a constructive spirit."
Jane Morrice, of the Women's Coalition said: "It is a very proud moment, it is history being made.
"We have got 108 people going in there who have been elected to do something and we are going to work hard."