Bill Clinton: 'I used Good Friday success shamelessly around the world'

Bill Clinton: 'I used Good Friday success shamelessly around the world'

BILL CLINTON has spoken with pride of his role in brokering the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, admitting that "I have used you shamelessly" as an example to end other conflicts.

The former US President was speaking after receiving an Honorary Doctorate at Dublin's DCU campus this morning.

He was joined by Dublin-based homelessness campaigner, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and former Dundalk enterpreneur Dr Martin Naughton of Notre Dame University as co-honourees celebrated by the university in the presence of former President Mary McAleese and ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

In a reflective mood, Mr Clinton referred to the 1998 accord in proud terms.

"It was really quite something. There has never been any peace agreement like it before. And it broke like a thundercloud across the world."

He admitted the he has cited the success of the North's feted accord around the world with his Clinton Foundation, telling the audience of its example of triumph over adversity, " I used you. Shamelessly. Everywhere I could."

Clinton added "other people were fighting in other places and they had to stop and say 'well really...if they could pull this off after all those decades, maybe we could too'."

Speaking unscripted to a packed auditorium of students, academics and political leaders, he praised Ireland's new multicultural identity and particularly Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as "your first Indian-Irish, your first openly gay Taoiseach, and a very impressive man, I might add."

But Mr Clinton also mocked Eurosceptic supporters.

To rapturous laughter, the 42nd US President mimicked Brexit voters for their apparent naivety. "'Oh my God I didn't know about all these customs and economic consequences... why didn't anybody tell me that?'" he joked.

Bill Clinton then headed north to Belfast where he was expected to meet with First Minister Arlene Foster as part of the ongoing attempts to kickstart the Stormont Assembly, which has been suspended since January.