Irish civil servants and political advisors show their role in the peace process in Northern Ireland. Their testimonies give a strong sense of the very sensitive political environment in which they worked. They reflect the impact of an ever-changing political landscape on the prospects for promoting the peace process and on the evolution of politics and reflection on Northern Ireland, from the outbreak of violence in 1968 to the conclusion of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. These personal reports provide an overview of how the Irish have attempted to organize negotiations for a hard-won agreement. For decades, the conflict in Northern Ireland has rarely been in the news. Then a pioneering peace agreement, the Good Friday Agreement, set the country on a new path. Today, Brexit has made the Irish border a focal point and a decisive sticking point in the negotiations. The 1998 peace agreement between the British and Irish governments paved the way for power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland and ended 30 years of conflict. Henry McDonald talks about how the Good Friday deal is being tested again as Britain moves closer to Brexit. And Jason Burke on the political crisis in Zimbabwe And finally, we spoke to four academics to deal in depth with what motivated the key politicians involved to reach an agreement in April 1998. Union leaders such as David Trimble at Sinn Féins Gerry Adams and the great percussion trio Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern. Four academics – Margaret O`Callaghan of Queen`s University Belfast, Liam Kennedy of University College Dublin, John Morrison of the University of East London and Connal Parr of the University of Northumbria – tell their stories. (Starts at 40:18) The Guardian`s Henry McDonald has covered Northern Ireland for years and covers the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
He looks back at how Belfast has changed for the better – and how far these dark days of turmoil are for those that his own children, born over the past 20 years, can see appear. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, everything revolves around the Good Friday agreement in this episode of The Anthill. Reader, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen`s University Belfast Lecturer in the School of Psychology, Queen`s University Belfast Ernie will also speak to Alan McBride, who lost his wife in the shankill road bombing.