November 17, 2017

The Good Friday Agreement

It’s twenty years since ‘The Good Friday Agreement’ was reached. We’ve been taking a look at what it’s meant for Northern Ireland.

It was a period of time known as ‘The Troubles’ –
30 years of violence in The North, the six counties on this island that are part of the United Kingdom.

In the North many people are divided in their opinion.

Nationalists would like to join the Republic of Ireland.

And Unionists want to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Some people took to violence to try to force change and others to stop it. Almost every day the news had a sad story. There were terrorist groups on either side. Thousands of people died during the 30 years of the Troubles.

Eventually in the 1990s, those groups chose to put down their weapons ,which would allow talks between Unionist and Nationalist politicians to begin.

On the 10th of April 1998, after much talking The Good Friday Agreement was finally reached.

In May, the people of Ireland, North and South voted in favour of it.

And so began the Peace Process.

It saw the setting up of a new form of government called the Northern Ireland Assembly.

This meant that some decisions that were once made by the British Government in London, could now be made by Politicians in the Assembly in Belfast.

Both Nationalists and Unionists shared power in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and made decisions on issues like Education, Health and Housing.

Since 1998, the Peace Process has continued to gather strength, for many people in the North today, it’s all they’ve known.

A bright light of the past, shining the way for young people into the future.


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