It was an almost Churchillian phrase, had the man who pronounced it not been so wary of his own media-consciousness: “This is not a day for soundbites, but I feel the hand of history is on our shoulders.” Tony Blair was about to sign an agreement, with Irish taoiseach Bertie Ahern, on behalf of two neighbouring sovereign states, with the backing of paramilitary groups and of populations that had been at each other’s throats on and off for 70 years at the cost of thousands of lives on each side. That agreement was signed on Good Friday, 10 April 1998. The date was not quite an auspicious coincidence; it had been laid down by American Senator George Mitchell who, as US President Bill Clinton’s special envoy, had been a facilitator trusted by both sides. In part this was for its symbolism, but it also meant he could be home with his family by Easter Day. Tony Blair and the Irish taoiseach Bertie Ahern sign the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 (PA) Those … [Read more...] about Twenty years after the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland’s future is imperilled by Brexit
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This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Belfast Agreement, more commonly known as The Good Friday Agreement, which was signed in Northern Ireland on 10th April 1998. It effectively brought an end to The Troubles, which had raged in the region for thirty years, and established a cross-community consensus for peace and the future direction of the region. The Troubles From the late 1960s, Northern Ireland was plunged into a brutal conflict between republicans who wanted the province to become part of a united Ireland and unionists who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom. Republicans and the wider nationalist community are mostly Catholic, while unionists are mostly Protestant. British Army members on the streets of Belfast in 1972 Violence was largely perpetrated by paramilitary groups on both sides, such as the IRA and the UVF, while others were killed by the British security forces after the army were deployed in the summer of 1969. Of the 3,532 people who died, the majority … [Read more...] about Good Friday Agreement: What was the historic peace deal reached in Northern Ireland 20 years ago?
Pubs staying open on Good Friday in Ireland is believed to have generated more than €40m (£35m) in sales, according to one estimate. It was the first time that people were allowed to drink alcohol legally in pubs in 90 years and the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland believe it had a significant impact on the sector, saying it stood by a previous projection of €40m sales. The federation said they believed keeping pubs open on Good Friday also generated more than €7m in VAT and excise duty contributions to the Exchequer as it st. Read more Pubs in Ireland set for roaring trade as Good Friday alcohol ban ends Jack White is playing a tiny, free show in London today Live updates from Dublin’s most famous pubs on St Patrick’s Day Where to drink Guinness in London and around UK Vintners’ Federation of Ireland chief executive, Padraig Cribben, said that many people visited due to the novelty factor of visiting a pub on … [Read more...] about Irish pubs make £35m after opening on Good Friday for the first time
Hundreds of people gathered in the streets of Swadlincote for this year's Good Friday Walk of Witness. The annual event is the chance for worshippers from various churches around the area to get together and celebrate the start of the Easter period. Walkers met at Hill Street Baptist Church in Swadlincote town centre and marched to the town hall, led by a lone drummer and Macin Taton, who was carrying a cross. Waiting at the town hall was a band, and those in attendance sang hymns, such as Amazing Grace and Hang it on the Cross, together and listened to readings from the Bible about Good Friday. The Good Friday event commemorates Jesus' walk with the cross before his crucifixion almost 2,000 years ago. James Johnston, from Hartshorne, has been the drummer for the parade for 15 years, and says he loves to see the community come together every year to celebrate the story of Easter. "I have been the drummer for the march since 2003. The vicar at St George's and St Mary's Church, in Church … [Read more...] about Hundreds arrive in Swadlincote for the Good Friday Walk of Witness
THE high street and online is awash with discounts as retailers slash prices by up to 70 per cent. But are the discounts really as good as Black Friday and can you trust sale prices? We take a look. This year some high street stores have struggled to attract customers. Yesterday, we reported on how off-licence chain Bargain Booze is close to falling into administration. Earlier this year, there were other high street casualties. Toys R Us announced last month that it is closing all 106 of its UK stores. While electrical retailer Maplin also filed for administration putting another 2,500 people out of work. At the moment "Easter sale" signs can be found covering high street window displays, in a bid to attract customers. There are some pretty good discounts about, with TopShop and H&M offering up to 70 per cent off. And it's not just on the high street - Amazon and Curry's both have sales online too. What are the best sales on right now? Here's a round-up of what's on … [Read more...] about Forget Black Friday…it’s all about Good Friday as retailers slash prices by up to 70 per cent