Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern, George Mitchell and all the parties bar the DUP were inside Castle Buildings while we waited in the car park.
Deadlines had come and gone but George Mitchell was heading home that weekend.
Tony and Bertie had hung around for long enough. Bill Clinton’s phone calls were done. Finally, in a process that could send trains from stations that should have closed long ago - it was crunch time in the peace process.
And outside in the car park, on that freezing coldnight, the regular hacks from north and south who knew that car park well, were joined by the towers, the cranes, the satellite vans of the world’s media.
Many had arrived straight from hotspots like Bosnia - veterans used to wars and big events. This dreary car parkoutside Castle Buildings, down the hill from Stormont, was suddenly the centre of the world media rat pack. Despite the cold, the overflowing loos, it was exciting to be there - 9April 1998.
We'd been there all week since Tony Blair arrived, feeling the hand of history on his shoulder. And over the years, I’d been up and down the road North regularly, reporting for Morning Ireland.
We had followed every heartbreaking and tortuous twist that had led us all to this night 20 years ago, as we watched the lights in Castle Buildings, traded rumours and tips from those inside, and tried to figure out what was going on.
About 5am, editor Donal Byrne and myself got going. Coffee and more coffee, phone calls to the Morning Ireland office Dublin. Still no news. Trying to line up guests and script uncertainty. More coffee. The dark turned to dawn, and with the light, more rumours. 6am: There was a deal. Was there?
Going on air at 7am with nothing but more coffee, there was no script for that morning. But underneath, there wasthe insistent buzz that hope and history were starting to rhyme.
As the programme tickedby the excitement built. Our guests trickled in from Castle Buildings. There was a deal. The news wires were buzzing. The other broadcasters were all in full swing. But how certain? How sure?How signed off?